Casting anybody apart from Julia Roberts to star in Pretty Woman might have been an enormous mistake. Big. Huge. The actress snagged the function of down-on-her-luck prostitute Vivian Ward, after which simply three days later misplaced the job that might finally earn her the title of “America’s Sweetheart.” That’s as a result of the movie, which was initially titled 3,000, had solid Roberts as its main girl, simply days earlier than its unique manufacturing firm, Vestron Pictures, went out of enterprise.
“This small movie company folded over the weekend, and by Monday, I didn’t have a job,” Roberts recalled in a 2019 Variety dialog with Patricia Arquette, who’d additionally auditioned to play Vivian in what she described as “a gritty art movie” with a “really heavy” ending. Disney finally purchased the movie rights, with Garry Marshall stepping in to direct what turned the 1990 romantic comedy Pretty Woman.
Marshall agreed to satisfy with Roberts as a courtesy
Although Marshall may need had another Hollywood A-listers in thoughts for the starring function, he met with Roberts as a courtesy anyway.
“Garry Marshall came on, and because he’s a great human being, he felt it would only be fair to meet me, since I had this job for three days and lost it,” Roberts defined. After she gained him over, Pretty Woman was born from what had as soon as been 3,000 — a reference to the sum of money rich businessman Edward Lewis (performed by Richard Gere) paid Vivian to be his escort for the week. “They changed the whole thing,” she stated. “And it became more something that is in my wheelhouse.”
Indeed, 3,000 wasn’t fairly the identical modern-day Cinderella story that finally hit theaters in March 1990. Before Marshall gave Pretty Woman the rom-com remedy, screenwriter J.F. Lawton had conceived the story within the late 1980s as a dark, gritty drama centering on the hazards going through Hollywood intercourse employees on the time. He’d drawn inspiration from such movies as 1973’s The Last Detail and 1987’s Wall Street, and there was no fortunately ever after for Vivian and Edward.
Instead of Gere’s character’s chivalrous climb from his limousine to “rescue” Vivian from her fireplace escape (and her subsequently rescuing him proper again), as Roberts tells it, in 3,000 Gere’s character “threw her out of the car, threw the money on top of her, as memory serves, and just drove away, leaving her in some dirty alley.” The unique ending had Vivian on a bus with greatest pal and fellow prostitute Kit De Luca headed to Disneyland as she “stares out emptily ahead.” And, scene.
The tone of the film was modified to a ‘fairy story with a twist’
Fresh off his success directing the 1988 musical drama Beaches, Marshall had been intrigued by Lawton’s heavier script, which he noticed because the story of “a girl who wanted to change her life, and did,” in response to Vanity Fair. What Marshall had in thoughts, nonetheless, was extra akin to a fairy story with a twist. “My vision was a combination of fairytales. Julia was Rapunzel, Richard was Prince Charming, and Hector [Elizondo] was the fairy godmother,” the late director stated 2015. “It didn’t seem like a vision everybody would have, but I did.”
Despite its final shift in tone, the film nonetheless contained a number of parts and scenes from Lawton’s unique 3,000 script. Among them have been such classics as Vivian’s disastrous procuring experiences on Beverly Hills’ Rodeo Drive, in addition to her and Edward’s opera date evening and dinner with James Morse, the kind-hearted businessman whose firm Edward supposed to overhaul.
Lawton credited the studio’s need for a cheerful ending to Gere and Roberts themselves. “They had auditioned Al Pacino, that they had auditioned Michelle Pfeiffer, and it will undoubtedly have been a distinct film if had it been Al Pacino and Michelle Pfeiffer,” he instructed Vanity Fair. “It may need been nearer to the unique script and possibly not have had a cheerful ending. But the chemistry between Julia and Gere, it’s palpable on the display screen, it was palpable in auditions. You can’t actually see the way it might finish every other method, as a result of they only gentle up with one another.”
Roberts was the one who satisfied Gere to affix the movie
In truth, Roberts was liable for finally convincing Gere to signal on to the movie. The actor remembers Marshall bringing her to his New York City condo and leaving them alone to speak. “To be trustworthy, I did not know if I used to be doing this film but. She’s throughout the desk, we’re attending to know one another, we’re flirty-flirty, nice-nice,” Gere defined throughout a 2015 solid reunion on the TODAY present. “And [Marshall] calls up and it is type of like, ‘How’s it going?’ And I’m going, ‘Yeah, yeah,’ and he or she takes a bit of paper [‘a Post-it,’ Roberts interjected]. She turns it round, and he or she pushes it to me. It stated, ‘Please say sure.’ It was so candy. And I used to be like [miming talking on the phone], ‘I simply stated sure.'”
Marshall echoed Lawton’s sentiments to Vanity Fair: “The chemistry between Roberts and Gere was excellent. The actors introduced such a lovability and attraction that I didn’t suppose the viewers would desire a darkish ending, and it didn’t damage that I’m from the varsity of blissful endings.”
The relaxation, after all, is popular culture historical past. In addition to receiving a 1991 Academy Awards Best Actress nomination for the function, Roberts additionally gained a Golden Globe the identical 12 months. “I had no enterprise being in a film like that,” she instructed Arquette of 3,000‘s darker materials, which additionally reportedly included extra references to drug dependancy. “I couldn’t do it then. I couldn’t do it now. Thank God it fell aside.”
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