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‘Pretty Woman’ Fun Facts That Will Have You Re-Watching the 1990 Classic

Find out which iconic moment wasn’t in the script!

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Fan-favorite Julia Roberts‘ romantic comedy Pretty Woman is a 1990s classic. Starring Richard Gere opposite Roberts, Pretty Woman follows the unlikely pairing of Vivian Ward and Edward Lewis. And even for those who are major fans of the film, these Pretty Woman fun facts might still surprise you.

The Oscar-nominated film is among the most beloved romances of the 1990s and one of Roberts’ most recognized roles. Check out these surprising Pretty Woman fun facts that will make you want to watch the movie again!

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1. The movie was supposed to end very differently

man and woman hugging on ladder
Julia Roberts and Richard Gere in ‘Pretty Woman’ (1990)moviestillsdb.com/TouchstonePictures

Of course, everyone knows that the film ends with Edward “saving” Vivian from her life of on the streets and Vivian promising to “rescue him right back.” But prior to this fairytale happily-ever-after, there was an entirely differently storyline for these characters.

Originally, Vivian’s friend, Kit (Laura San Giacomo) was supposed to die of an overdose. Plus, Vivian and Edward weren’t meant to end up together.

In the first script, Edward throws Vivian and the money he paid her for the weekend out of his car, which would have led to quite a different film. But once Walt Disney Studios got involved, the script became the sweet romance we all know it to be.

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2. It was originally supposed to be titled ‘$3,000’

man and woman holding drinks
Julia Roberts and Richard Gere in ‘Pretty Woman’ (1990)moviestillsdb.com/TouchstonePictures

Not only was the film supposed to end differently, but the title was going to be “$3,000.” Vivian’s character was written as a drug addict and Edward was meant to pay her $3,000 for the weekend, hence the former title. Their relationship was also not supposed to go beyond the weekend.

3. Roberts almost didn’t play Vivian: Pretty Woman fun facts

woman smiling looking away
Julia Roberts in ‘Pretty Woman’ (1990)moviestillsdb.com/TouchstonePictures

It might be impossible to imagine this film with any other lead actress, but before Roberts was chosen for the role, there were plenty of other actresses considered. Big names like Laura Dern, Demi Moore and Molly Ringwald were all up for the part, but didn’t end up working out.

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4. Gere wasn’t the first choice for Edward, either: Pretty Woman fun facts

man reading a newspaper; pretty woman fun facts
Richard Gere in ‘Pretty Woman’ (1990)moviestillsdb.com/TouchstonePictures

Gere wasn’t the first choice for the role of Edward. Actors like John Travolta, Liam Neeson and Michael Douglas were all up for the part before Gere.

Interestingly, when producers decided they wanted Gere, he wasn’t interested. He turned down the part multiple times until the director (Gary Marshall) had Julia Roberts fly to meet the actor to convince him in person. He finally agreed after Roberts wrote on a piece of paper, “please say yes,” while he was on the phone with Marshall.  

5. One of the film’s major costumes was bought off the street

Roberts’ iconic costume, the red jacket her character wears when Edward first spots her, was purchased right on the street. As the film’s costume designers were driving around looking for inspiration, they spotted a random person wearing the red jacket. The designers actually went up to that person and bought the jacket on the spot for cash.

6. This iconic moment wasn’t scripted: Pretty Woman fun facts

We all remember the moment when Gere offers Roberts’ character the necklace, but snaps the box shut as she reaches for it? Turns out, that wasn’t included in the script. Apparently the duo had filmed the scene of him presenting the necklace multiple times, and Marshall thought the scene was boring.

Marshall pulled Gere aside and told him to snap the box closed as Roberts would go to take the necklace, but they didn’t tell Roberts. Her reaction and boisterous laugh was completely genuine. The improv moment worked for the film as it was featured in its marketing and was even parodied on Family Guy.

7. An armed guard was on set to protect this prop

woman wearing necklace; pretty woman fun facts
Julia Roberts in ‘Pretty Woman’ (1990)moviestillsdb.com/TouchstonePictures

Speaking of that gorgeous necklace, there were some contingencies on being able to use the piece. Since the film’s budget was only $14 million, the crew couldn’t afford such an accessory. Luckily, a jewelry store was able to lend the necklace but required an armed guard to always be present. So, when the necklace is on camera, a guard is in the building just off camera.

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