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How Old Was Julia Roberts In Pretty Woman? 5 Things You Didn’t Know About The Iconic 90s Movie

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Looking to find out how old Julia Roberts was in “Pretty Woman” and other interesting facts about the classic movie, you’re in luck.

“Pretty woman”  has proven itself a timeless piece since hitting the theatres over three decades ago. Ultimately, it paved the way for famous stars like Richard Gere and Julia Roberts in the movie industry, redefining the rest of their career.

Interestingly, Roberts was only an upcoming actress when she snagged the role. In fact, the producers were unwilling to cast her at first, thinking it a gamble they could not afford. However, after hitting dead ends with some of the famous actresses in their books, they finally settled for Roberts, a choice they never regretted.

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Julia Roberts as Vivian in Pretty Woman | Image: Pinterest
Image: Pinterest

Just like the now-famous actress, the movie itself faced a lot of hardship before getting its chance to shine. From casting troubles to debates about ethics.

Despite this rough route, it eventually became the iconic work the world knows today.

How Old Was Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman?”

Julia Roberts was 21 when she landed the lead role of Vivian Ward, a beautiful escort in the 90s classic, “Pretty Woman.” Although an upcoming actress without a wealth of experience, the star boldly took on the role of a hooker, without a care for the repercussions.

Thankfully, the gamble paid off, skyrocketing the young star to fame without resulting in stigmatisation or typecasting in the industry. That risk was a huge gamble not many actresses were willing to take.

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In fact, Roberts was not exactly the producers’ first choice during casting. Contrariwise, she had a rough audition and had to audition twice because the executives at Disney preferred other more famous actresses. She had to contend against movie greats like Michelle Pfeiffer and Meg Ryan.

At the time, Julia Roberts was young and had only a few movies like “Crime Story, ” “Mystic Pizza, ” and “Steel Magnolias” under her belt, but still proved herself the best fit for the role.

Here are five other facts about the iconic movie you probably never knew.

Julia Roberts.and Richard Gere as Vivian and Edwards in Pretry Woman |
Image: Pinterest
IImage: Pinterest

1. The Movie Was Originally Titled “$3000”

Before Julia Roberts embodied the red-haired, wig-donning beautiful prostitute with a heart of gold, she only existed on the pages of a script called “$3000.”

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The title references the amount of money Richard paid Vivian, for their strictly transactional dealings. Somewhere along the line, the show creator figured it was better off as a romantic comedy. Hence, they changed the original dark premise into a lighter rom-com and adopted the now iconic title, “Pretty Woman.”

2. Ferrari And Porsche Declined Any Association With The Movie

Being associated with prostitution even remotely does not have a good ring to it. Hence, it comes as no surprise that major car brands like Ferrari and Porsche declined to have their cars featured in the film.

In the end, to do justice to Edward’s lavish lifestyle, the creators turned to Lotus Company, which was glad to have their Esprit model feature in the film. That turned out to be a great marketing strategy for the company.

Julia Roberts as Vivian posing beside a car in Pretty Woman | Image: Pinterest
Image: Pinterest

3. They Tweaked The Original Ending

Before Disney acquired the movie rights from Vestron Pictures, Pretty Woman was set for a bleaker ending. Per the original script, Vivian’s friend Kit, died of a drug overdose, while the two leads never ended up together.

Instead, they ended up parting ways, with Edward casting Vivian out of his car in the middle of the street, and tossing her weekend pay at her. Sad ending, yes. But it is worth noting that the original playwright J.F Lawton intended the movie to depict the dangerous life of sex workers.

Vivian and Kit in Pretty Woman | Image: Pinterest
Image: Pinterest

4. The Crew Vowed To Never Make A Sequel

A classic hit and more, one would expect a revival to have surfaced over the last decades. Surprisingly, none has so far. This is saying a lot in an era where prequels and sequels to old movies and cult classics have become the order of the day.

The absence of a revival of any sort has an interesting explanation. Richard Gere, Julia Roberts and the director, Marshall vowed never to do a sequel, unless it involved three of them. Sadly, Marshall passed away in 2016, making the possibility of a sequel very unlikely.

5. Richard Gere Turned Down The Role Several Times

Like the actresses who thought the film too big a career risk, Richard Gere, who played the male lead of business Tycoon Edward, never wanted to be a part of the project. 

In fact, he turned down the role several times despite director Garry Marshall’s insistence he was the best fit. It took Roberts flying to New York personally to finally convince him to say yes.

They ended up filming together as love interests. Their dynamic was so great that they improvised several unscripted moments that flowed seamlessly into the movie premise.

Julia Roberts and Richard Gere as Vivian and Edward soaking in a bath |
Image: Pinterest
Image: Pinterest

The two reunited as love interests in the 1999 film, “Runaway Bride,” giving off magical chemistry despite their over 18 years age gap. Today, Julia Roberts and Richard Gere rank among TV’s most memorable couples.

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