Does richard gere play the piano

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Piano man

In the scene where Richard Gere’s character Edward plays the piano in the hotel, production didn’t need to bring in a pianist to film the scene. It turned out that Richard Gere was incredibly talented when it came to music and he was a talented pianist.


Not only that, but Gere actually composed the same song that he played in the scene. His incredible musical talents came from his younger years and he played the trumpet in high school.

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No More Roberts

Julia Roberts was initially cast as Vivian, but when the rights to the movie were sold off to Disney, Roberts was out of the role due to a change in executive decisions.

However, things were put back to how they were before with Julia Roberts in the leading role when director Garry Marshall was put in charge. He insisted he wanted to revert to the original cast and saw something in her that would make the movie a hit.


An unplanned scene

Some of the best scenes in movies are the ones that are totally unplanned and that is exactly what happened with Pretty Woman. The scene where Edward Lewis presents Vivian Ward with a diamond necklace for the opera and then slams the box shut was totally unplanned.

Gere thought up the idea himself and waited for Julia Roberts reaction. Of course, Roberts let out a huge laugh and it was one of the best scenes in the movie.

That snails scene

Edward’s world was all very new to Vivian and one of the scenes which depicted this is when Vivian tried escargot for the first time. Snails aren’t one of the easiest dishes to eat so when Vivian tries to eat it it slips out her hands and the waiter catches it.

Buena Vista Pictures/Photofest

He turns to Vivian and says “it happens all the time”. Garry Marshall decided to recreate this scene in his later film, The Princess Diaries, when Mia Thermopolis breaks the champagne glass and the same waiter from Pretty Woman reuses his now famous line.


Streetwalker style

Vivian’s outfit of the mini dress, thigh high boots, blonde wig and red jacket became synonymous with her character. Despite this costume going down in history, it almost didn’t exist when the costume department didn’t have the jacket mentioned in the script.

LANDMARK MEDIA/Alamy Stock Photo

The crew then had to scramble to find a jacket for Julia Roberts so they ended up walking down the street, and finding a girl with a red jacket which they exchanged for $30 in cash.

Perks of the movie

Julia Roberts was asked what her favorite scene from the movie was. She divulged that she loved the part where she drove the expensive car down Hollywood Boulevard, explaining “I don’t know, driving around in the car in Hollywood was pretty hilarious”.

Buena Vista/Getty Image

At just 21-years-old, Julia admitted she didn’t know how to drive a car that well, but Garry Marshall was still on board for her to do it. He explained later on that Roberts hit the gas and cameramen could barely keep up.


Beefed up security

The stunning diamond necklace that is seen in the movie wasn’t just a prop. The necklace was custom made by French jeweler Fred Joaillier and was worth a whopping $250,000.

Touchstone Pictures

Instead of just being sent to the set, the necklace was escorted by a security guard who kept an eye on it the entire time it was being used. Throughout the time it left the jewelry store to the time on set, the necklace was never left alone.

That bathtub prank

In one of the classic scenes of the movie, Vivian is belting out hits from Prince when Edward walks in to have a discussion with her. He came in to talk about how much money he would be paying Vivian and when she heard the amount, she dunked herself underwater in a moment of overwhelming excitement.


In a hilarious moment on set, Richard Gere, Garry Marshall and the rest of the crew decided to run out of the room when Julia Roberts dunked underwater, so when she came back up, no one was there!


Overwhelming nerves

After reading the script it was very obvious that there would be a number of different love scenes in the movie. However, when it actually came to fruition on set, Julia Roberts was incredibly nervous to film each scene, so much so that a vein popped out of her forehead.

Buena Vista Pictures/Everett Collection

At this point, everything had to be stopped on set and Julia Roberts’ head had to be massaged, by which time she broke out in hives. Needless to say it took up quite some time.

Fake fighting, right?

In the scene where Edward was fighting with his lawyer Philip Stuckey, the two were briefed beforehand by stunts on how to make it look as real as possible.


However, when it came to actually filming the scene, the two went a little bit more rough than expected and it got quite intense to the point that Richard Gere actually knocked a crown on his tooth loose. Perhaps the two actors were hiding some real resentment towards each other?

Worldwide success

When Disney bought the movie in a last minute move, they could never have predicted the mass worldwide success of the movie. At this time, Julia Roberts was still a very young up and coming actress but the film exceeded all expectations and made a whopping $464 million at the box office.

The film was also well received by critics and became one of the most successful and well-known romantic comedies to date. After this, Julia Roberts was thrust into the spotlight and became one of the highest paid actresses.


Hidden opera meanings

When Edward takes Vivian to the opera, they see the Italian La Traviata. Ironically, the opera was about a man who falls in love with a lady of the night, almost a mirror of what happens in Pretty Woman.

Buena Vista Pictures/Photofest

However, the opera ends in heartbreak when the woman in question dies and her lover is devastated. As we know, Pretty Woman has a Cinderella ending and Vivian and Edward live happily ever after, it was a Disney movie after all.

The real set

Pretty Woman was filmed in different locations around the upscale Beverly Hills as well as in film studios in Los Angeles. The only hotel that would allow shooting both inside and outside was the Regent Beverly Wilshere Hotel, so that was used for the majority of the film.

Additional scenes were shot at the nearby Ambassador Hotel which ended up being demolished in 2005. The fancy restaurant called The Voltaire in the film is real and actually called Cicada.


A very different ending

In true romantic comedy style, Pretty Woman ends with Edward running after Vivian and they reunite on her balcony. However, the original script written by J.F. Lawton was called 3000, it wasn’t a love story and it definitely didn’t have a happy ending.

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Instead, the story was about two very disturbed and damaged individuals who spent an intense week together which culminated in a sad ending with plenty of tears and no happily ever after.

The red dress

That famous red dress that Vivian wore to the opera was almost never red. There ended up being a dispute between the studio, producers and the costume designer of the film as they wanted Julia Roberts’ character to wear a black dress.

Costume designer Marilyn Vance-Straker eventually won the argument after plenty of screen testing and the red dress became an iconic moment in the movie. There’s no way that a black gown would have had nearly the same effect as that striking dress.


It would’ve been a big mistake, huge!

While the screenplay and premise of the movie was changed a number of different times, there was one famous scene that stayed in the script throughout.

The famous scene where Vivian shops on Rodeo Drive and a rude saleswoman at the Beverly Hills boutique refuses to sell her anything was always an important part of the movie. It even kept the part when she returned to show off her successful shopping trip, but left out that famous line, “big mistake, huge!”

Hair color mishap

In the bathtub scene, bottles of laundry detergent were used to create all of the bubbles, but the detergent was so strong it had another unexpected effect. Julia Roberts’ red hair color started to fade from all of the chemicals and having to dunk herself under the water so many times.

Buena Vista/Courtesy Everett Collection

The night after shooting the scene, the actress was forced to re-dye her hair to what it was before. Perhaps they should have stuck to natural bubble bath!


Character chemistry

Richard Gere was reluctant to sign onto the film as he wasn’t overly enthused by his character of Edward. However, one of the biggest reasons Gere decided to sign on in the end was because of Julia Roberts.

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When the two met for the first time in New York, Gere was smitten with young Roberts and they immediately had an undeniable chemistry. It was this chemistry that translated on-screen so well and made the two genuinely look like they were in love in the movie.

Julia’s body double

Julia Roberts truly looked incredibly in Pretty Woman. Despite some questionable outfit choices from her character Vivian, Roberts managed to make them all look great. However, in the posters for the movie, a body double was used and Julia Roberts’ face was superimposed onto it.


The original photograph was a picture of Donna Scoggins’ legs that producers thought would work well in the promotional shots. In the movie, body double Shelley Michelle’s body was used for some of the shots.


Happiest place in the world

With the script of Pretty Woman changing many different times, it can only be expected that the film had a very different ending originally. Going back to the fact that there were plenty of cinderella references in Pretty Woman, the original movie titled 3000 actually ended with Vivian and her best friend Kit ending up at Disneyland.

Considering this ending was written before the film was picked up by Disney, it is quite ironic that the last scene was at The Happiest Place On Earth.

Award winner

It’s not a usual occurrence that a romcom ends up with prestigious award nominations, but Pretty Woman did. The film was nominated for four Golden Globes and Julia Roberts ended up beating Mia Farrow, Andie MacDowell, Demi Moore and Meryl Streep to win the award for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy.

Although she was still an up and coming actress, this was Roberts’ second consecutive Golden Globe and the previous year she took home the Best Supporting Actress award for Steel Magnolias.


Julia was not amused

She might be one of the greatest actresses, but it was actually very hard to get Julia Roberts to genuinely laugh on screen in Pretty Woman. In the scene where Vivian was watching I Love Lucy, she really struggled in letting out a convincing laugh.

To get Roberts to laugh, Garry Marshall positioned himself off-camera and tickled Julia until she was laughing uncontrollably. Her most genuine laugh was in the improvised scenes with Richard Gere that came completely unexpected.

Richard Gere wasn’t interested

It took a while to decide who was the right actor to play Edward, but when Garry Marshall decided he really wanted Richard Gere, the feeling wasn’t mutual. When he was approached to play Edward, he turned down the role several times.


At this point, the director and producer brought in Julia Roberts to help the case and knew Gere would love her. When Richard Gere was on a phone call with Garry Marshall, Roberts held up a post it note that said “please say yes”.


The handkerchief gag was unscripted

Some of the funniest parts of Pretty Woman were not written into the script. This is exactly the case in the scene where Vivian loudly blows her nose into a handkerchief. The hotel manager is pressing Vivian on what business she has in a five-star luxury hotel.


Vivian gets into a mess at which point the manager calms down and hands her a handkerchief which she blows her nose into. Roberts improvised in the moment but later hoped it wouldn’t get into the movie as she thought it was actually quite disgusting!

A sequel vow

The success of Pretty Woman was quite unexpected and no one realized it would become one of the best and most profitable rom coms of all time. In most cases, when a movie does so well, you can always expect a sequel in the following years.


However, over 30-years later there is still no sight of sequel and there is a reason for it. Richard Gere, Julia Roberts, and director Garry Marshall vowed to never do a sequel unless all three of them were involved. With Marshall no longer with us, it looks like there will only ever be one Pretty Woman.


The directors first choice

Julia Roberts was a perfect choice for Vivian, but she was by no means the top choice. The role was initially offered to Molly Ringwald after starring in 80s hit movies including Pretty in Pink and Sixteen Candles, she was assumed as a good fit for Vivian.


Immediately, Ringwald turned down the role, she didn’t even consider it. She didn’t like the film’s content and felt uncomfortable playing the risque role of Vivian. She later expressed her regret at not saying yes to Marshall.

Screen test revolving door

Before Richard Gere had signed on to play Edward, many different notable actors auditioned for the coveted role. When they had Julia Roberts as Vivian, they had over 10 different actors come in for a screen-test.

TCD Prod.DB/Alamy Stock Photo

A wide range of people including Charles Grodin, known for playing sarcastic intellectuals, and the famously intense Al Pacino were seen. At this point, the producers and director didn’t have a clear idea of what they wanted. Richard Gere ended up being the perfect fit.


Car companies wanted nothing to do with it

In Pretty Woman, Edward is a wealthy bachelor, living an expensive but emotionally empty life, so used to try and buy his happiness. This also came in the form of sports cars.

Buena Vista Pictures

Initially, producers wanted Edward driving around Beverly Hills in a Porsche or Ferrari but both car companies refused to be represented in the film containing adult themes. In the end, it was Lotus that got the contract and their sales tripled after the film came out.

Get your own Pretty Woman experience

The hotel used in Pretty Woman was the Beverly Wilshere and the hotel have certainly capitalized on its fame from the film. The hotel offer a “Pretty Woman experience” that costs $100,000.


The experience includes shopping with a personal stylist and wardrobe consultant, a private driver around Rodeo Drive, a VIP suite, couples massage and a special menu from the executive chef.


Richard Gere broke a tooth during filming

In the scene where Edwards walks in on Stuckey trying to assault Vivian, he gets aggressive towards him, ends up firing him and throwing him out of the suite.

That scene was truly quite intense on screen and Gere actually broke a crown on one of his molars during the scene. In fact, if you look closely, you can see Gere making strange movements with his mouth which is a cause from the broken crown.

Julia Roberts’ southern twang

Julia Roberts was still quite new to acting in Hollywood blockbusters and hailing from Georgia, she still had quite the strong southern accent. It usually takes actors many years to be able to get rid of the strong accent when they are playing different roles, but Roberts was thrown in at the deep end and had to cover it up quite quickly.


Producers were worried her accent would come out in Pretty Woman so threw in a line in saying she comes from Georgia to cover it up.


Julia Roberts volunteered at a clinic to research the role

In order to prepare for her role as Vivian, Julia Roberts spent a week volunteering at a Los Angeles clinic. The director Garry Marshall’s wife worked there as a nurse and offered Julia the opportunity to come by.


Barbara Marshall commented on it saying “Garry would never visit me at the clinic, because he was a hypochondriac and afraid of getting a disease. But he asked if Julia could come and talk to some of the patients.”

Darker scenes were cut

The original Pretty Woman was called 3000 and had a very dark premise, but some of these darker scenes were filmed with Julia Roberts. There was one scene where Vivian was confronted by dealers and Edward had to come and save her.


In addition, Vivian’s language was much more colorful in the script and a lot of her lines had to be altered to remove the bad language. It did become a Disney film after all!


Richard Gere’s ever changing hair

In the Pretty Woman movie, Richard Gere’s hair is his signature sat-and-pepper colored. However, if you look at the actor in the Pretty Woman movie posters, you will notice that his hair is brown all over.

If you thought that it was only female actresses that were retouched, think again! Although it doesn’t seem very fitting that they would make his hair brown as the actor is known for that kind of silver fox look!

An extra cameo

In many movies, there are cameo’s from really relevant people that you would only notice if you had a really sharp eye, or someone told you about it. In the case of Pretty Woman, Garry Marshall gave himself a tiny cameo.

There is a scene where a homeless man asks Richard Gere’s character for some directions, that homeless man is in fact the director himself. Marshall was known for adding small, fun details to his movies and this was one that he thoroughly enjoyed.


Choosing the perfect actress

While it took Richard Gere much convincing to take the role of Edward, Julia Roberts knew she wanted to play Vivian from the get go. However, the feeling wasn’t exactly mutual between producers and they had a long list of prominent actresses that they considered before director Garry Marshall was absolutely convinced that Roberts should play the part of Vivian.

Actresses including Sandra Bullock and Sarah Jessica Parker were both offered the role but both turned it down.

Almost a 10-year reunion

Despite the cast making a pact about not doing a sequel of Pretty Woman unless it was altogether, they never mentioned anything about a different movie. Nine-years after Pretty Woman was filmed, the original cast came back together to film Runaway Bride, with Roberts and Gere both in leading male-female roles.


Despite Runaway Bride not doing as well as Pretty Woman, it was still a success and the cast loved being back together on set to try and produce another smash hit at the box office.


Restless Gere

Richard Gere was very much a strong-willed actor. When he started filming Pretty Woman, he decided that his character Edward would move around the entire time during his scenes, as if he was restless and just couldn’t sit still.

Director Garry Marshall caught onto it after two days of filming and then finally confronted Gere and told him no more moving around between takes. We can only wonder why Richard Gere wanted to give his character this trait.

The magic croissant

While most movies have bloopers and continuity mistakes, only those with a very sharp eye can spot them. However, in Pretty Woman, there was one major continuity error that almost everyone noticed.

Vivian was eating a croissant at breakfast with Edwards, asking him what he does for a living. The camera then cuts away from Julia Roberts and when it returns to her in shot, her croissant has been replaced by a pancake! It simply can’t have transformed so either production made a big mistake, or Julia Roberts just chose to eat the whole croissant.


Earthquake ruined the scene

The scene where Edward takes Vivian to the opera was one of the best parts of the movie. Vivian was dressed to the nines in the most expensive of clothing when they ventured out of the hotel.

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Filming for this was supposed to have taken place in San Francisco, with Edward whisking her away. However, a 6.9 magnitude earthquake hit San Fran, causing $5 billion worth of damage and killing 67 people. Instead it was filmed at the University of Southern California’s history museum.

No regrets this time

When Richard Gere was weighing up all his options whether to accept the role of Edward or not, something came to mind that happened a few years ago that could have made all the difference. In 1986, Gere was offered the role of corporate raider Gordon Gekko in the movie Wall Street.

Twentieth Century Fox

He declined and Michael Douglas accepted in instead. Douglas went on to win an Academy Award for Best Actor in this film. Lucky Gere didn’t pass up Pretty Woman too!


Watching Vivian strut

Richard Gere admitted that one of his favorite parts of filming the movie was watching Julia Roberts strut her stuff as Vivian and walk down Rodeo Drive in those thigh high boots.


He claimed “that was fun for everyone,” by the sounds of it, it must have taken Roberts quite some time to master the walk in those towering boots. Gere was however very complimentary of young Roberts’ look in the film, adding that she was “all about the legs.”

Self-fulfilling prophecy

In one scene, Vivian talks about her childhood and how she would pretend to be a princess who was “trapped in a tower by a wicked queen. And then suddenly this knight… on a white horse with these colors flying would come charging up and draw his sword. And I would wave. And he would climb up the tower and rescue me.”

Surprisingly, when this was filmed, the ending hadn’t been confirmed yet, so Vivian ended up getting her princess ending and predicting it quite accurately.

Read more: Iconic scenes of movies that were totally improvised

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It’s hard to imagine how a movie about a prostitute who is ‘bought’ by a millionaire could become one of the best-loved romantic comedies of all time.

Pretty Woman not only launched Julia Robert’s career and had us swooning over Richard Gere, it taught us that every woman deserves her very own fairytale.

Even though it’s been 27 years since Julia stepped into Vivian’s patent thigh-highs, it’s still a fantastic movie to snuggle up and watch with your loved one!

So, in honour of Valentine’s Day, we’ve compiled a list of little known Pretty Woman facts so you can fall in love with this classic all over again.

1. Julia wasn’t the first choice for the lead role

Meg Ryan was first approached to play the role of Vivian but we can’t imagine anyone but Julia in it!

It’s hard to imagine anyone playing the part of Vivian other than Julia herself but she wasn’t the director’s first choice of actress. In fact, Meg Ryan was offered the role and turned it down. Kim Basinger, Melanie Griffith and Sarah Jessica Parker were also offered the part before Julia.

Ironically, Julia later turned down the lead role in Sleepless in Seattle which went to Meg.

2. Richard wasn’t the first choice either!

John Travolta was also considered for the part of Edward

Richard Gere was also not the first choice of actor. Al Pacino turned down the male lead role and John Travolta was also considered for the lead.

3. It wasn’t supposed to be called ‘Pretty Woman’

The movie was originally titled $3000 — the amount Edward offers Vivian for her services

The movie was originally titled ‘$3000’ – the amount Edward offers Vivian for the week. However, when the movie got the rights to the song ‘Pretty Woman‘ they changed it and we’re glad they did!

4. It wasn’t a romantic comedy to begin with

Pic: Rex

While the Pretty Woman we all love was a romantic comedy, the original script was much darker and serious. In fact, the character of Vivian was supposed to be addicted to drugs.

5. Julia used a body double in the film’s posters

Julia’s head is superimposed onto body double Shelley Michelle for the movie cover

Julia Robert’s doesn’t appear in the movie posters–only her head! Famous Hollywood body double Shelley Michelle’s was used and Julia’s head superimposed onto her body.

Richard Gere’s hair is also brown in the poster while in the movie he sports his famous salt-and-pepper locks.

6. Julia was terrified of filming the love scenes

Julia was so nervous about sex scenes with Richard, a vein popped out on her forehead

When it came to filming her sex scenes with Richard Gere, Julia (understandably) was very nervous. So nervous, in fact, she at one point she broke out in hives and in another scene a vein popped up on her forehead.

Director Garry Marshall tickled Julia to make her laugh in certain scenes

Director Garry Marshall actually got into bed with Richard and Julia to massage the vein until it disappeared! In another scene Garry tickles Julia’s feet to make her laugh.

7. Richard Gere composed and played the piano music for THAT scene!

Richard is actually playing the piano in this scene

Talking about sex scenes…how could we forget the piano scene? Well, Richard Gere not only plays the piano for real in that scene but also composed the piece of music himself. SWOON!

8. The cost of the props varied significantly!

The red jacket Julia wears throughout the movie was purchased for $30. Pic: Rex

The red and black jacket Vivian sports throughout the film was purchased for $30 from a movie usher the director met just before filming started.

Meanwhile the necklace she wears to the opera was worth $250,000. The jewelry store sent a security guard to stand next to the director during filming to ensure nothing happened to the gems.

9. The famous necklace prank was improvised!

That iconic scene where Edward snaps the jewellery box shut was improvised by Richard Gere.

Julia’s reaction was so genuine and perfect for the character, the director couldn’t bring himself to cut it out.

10. The opera they attend ties in with the film’s theme

The opera Vivian goes to is called La Traviata which is fittingly about a prostitute who falls in love with a rich man.

‘Pretty Woman’ Turns 25 — The One Big Thing About The Poster You Never Realized

Growing up as a kid in the 90s, everyone was always talking about Pretty Woman — and with good reason. It’s the movie that made Julia Roberts a huge star and had a killer awesome soundtrack. But there was one thing that soured it for some folks: Roberts used a body double on the famous poster and in the movie. And now with Pretty Woman turning 25, it’s time to remember that it’s not Roberts on the poster in those thigh-high boots leaning next to co-star Richard Gere — it’s actually Donna Scoggins’ legs. In the film, Roberts’ body close-ups are really body double Shelley Michelle’s body.

And apparently that’s also not Richard Gere’s actual body (or hair — his is gray in the movie) on the poster. This photoshopping usually occurs because it’s hard to get both actors back together for a photoshoot once a movie has wrapped. As for the doubling in the film itself, a segment producer for the show Hard Copy noticed Roberts’ body close-ups looked different and soon the studio admitted that Michelle was the double.

Body doubles are usually used the director wants to emphasize a certain feature. “Usually they’ll put out a call for measurements,” Michelle told the New York Times in 1992. “But a lot of times they’re looking for great legs or something like that.” Michelle actually calls herself the “Most Famous Body Double,” having doubled for actresses like Kim Basinger in Final Analysis and Barbara Streisand in The Prince of Tides.

It’s not very feminist at all for Hollywood to keep up this cinematic airbrushing, but actually, a lot of actresses prefer to use body doubles for revealing scenes and it’s super common. Here are some actresses (and actors) who have admitted to using one.

Keira Knightley


The 29-year-old British actress has admitted to often using a butt double. She first requested one for the 2005 movie Domino. “I have this policy in films where I say, ‘You can have the top half but you can’t have the bottom half,’ and it kind of works quite well,” she said. “And there was this scene in Domino where I was meant to do a bit of a strip tease and a dance with a thong on. A sexy thong dance, and I was just like, ‘It’s not going to happen.’ And so I said, ‘Could you get me a bottom please?'”

Knightley also used a butt double in 2005’s Pride and Prejudice.

Jessica Alba


The 33-year-old actress made headlines recently because her nude shower scene in the 2010 film Machete was actually filmed by Alba with her underwear on — and then it was digitally removed in post-production to make her look naked. “Jessica has been steadfast in her resolve not to appear nude in films from the beginning of her career,” Alba’s publicist told Entertainment Weekly. “The decision to digitally remove the underwear from the shower scene in Machete was one she and Robert Rodriguez made together, which would serve his vision for the film, as well as honor her personal convictions regarding nudity.”

I’m glad Alba and Rodriguez filmed the scene the way they were comfortable and didn’t let any naysayers stop them. Alba has also used a body double in The Love Guru and The Sleeping Dictionary.

Men Use Doubles, Too


The other gender totally uses body doubles as well, especially for their nether regions. Owen Wilson used a butt double in You, Me, and Dupree, while Emile Hirsch used a full body double in 2004’s The Girl Next Door when his character runs down the street naked. Aiden Quinn also used one in 1995’s The Haunted.

“The director made that decision not to use my butt, I don’t know how to interpret that,” Wilson said. Perhaps some butts are just too great for the screen?

Images: Getty Images (3)

Pretty Woman is one of the best films of the ’90s. Garry Marshall’s blockbuster rom-com has become iconic in American pop culture and helped launch Julia Roberts’ career. A lot of people have the lines and scenes memorized by heart, but what many don’t know is that it was originally a film called 3000, or how much it cost to hire Vivian, or how it was not romantic or funny at all. There are still a lot more facts that people don’t know about Pretty Woman – perhaps the most shocking of them all is what Richard Gere really thinks of the movie!

Pretty Woman Was Not Meant To Be Lighthearted

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Pretty Woman lives on in the hearts and minds of America as an endearing tale about a woman of the night with a heart of gold. But before it was Pretty Woman, it was actually a much darker tale titled 3000.

Screenwriter J.F. Lawton’s original script was about two damaged souls who spend a week together. Vivian was originally written to have a drug addition and instead of the balcony reunion scene, the original script ended in tears.

Once you find out how the film was originally supposed to end, you’ll be glad the producers changed their mind!

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Guys, we don’t want to alarm you, but Pretty Woman is 28 years old.

But instead of setting this story on fire, we found a few things we didn’t know about the movie.

1. Sandra Bullock, Meg Ryan, Madonna, Kristin Davis, Sarah Jessica Parker and Drew Barrymore all reportedly considered the lead role of Vivian. And thank the LAWD. We couldn’t imagine anyone other than Julia Roberts, who was only 21 when she got the gig.

2. That famous Pretty Woman poster is actually Julia Roberts’s head superimposed onto her body double’s (Shelley Michelle) body.

3. Pretty Woman is actually a Disney movie. Yep. The “Cinder-f**kin’-rella” reference takes on new meaning now.

4. It was originally going to be called $3000, after the amount of money Edward and Vivian agree on, but execs thought it sounded like a science fiction flick.

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5. The original script was dark AF with Vivian being addicted to drugs. Her staying off cocaine for a week would have been part of the deal and the film would have ended with Edward throwing Vivian out of the car and Vivian getting on a bus to Disneyland with the $3000 she earned.

6. Edward snapping the necklace case down on Vivian’s fingers was totally improvised and Roberts’ surprised laugh was genuine. It’s now probs the most iconic moment of the entire movie.

7. Speaking of that necklace, it was $250,000 and came with its own armed guard.

8. Speaking again of that scene, the red dress Viv wears to the opera was almost a less-impressive black. Producers wanted black but costume designer Marilyn Vance knew it had to be red. After a bunch of test shots, common sense prevailed and history was made. It’s actually been listed among the most unforgettable dresses of all time.

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9. Oh, and the opera they saw? That was La Traviata, which is about a prostitute who falls in love with a wealthy man.

10. OK, so you know how you just can’t imagine anyone other than Roberts to play Viv, imagine the character of Edward being played by John Travolta. Or Sylvester Stallone. Or Christopher Reeve, Denzel Washington or Daniel Day-Lewis? Nah? Me either. But they were all considered.

11. Richard Gere basically thought his character was dull as, describing the part as simply “a suit”.

12. When asked about the film glorifying prostitution, Julia told The Guardian: “What are you going to do? You can’t please everybody. That movie was a fairytale. We did everything but put a glass slipper on. And I’ll tell you something else: for $3,000 a weekend, Richard Gere got a bargain.”

13. Remember the scene where Edward played the piano? Not only was Richard Gere playing that piano for real, he actually composed the piece he played. WTF.

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When Pretty Woman hit theaters in 1990, it became an instant hit and fans couldn’t get enough of Julia Roberts and Richard Gere as Edward and Vivian play out their love affair in the lavish surroundings of Beverly Hills.

The romantic comedy went down in history as one of the greats, launching Julia Roberts to stardom as one of her most memorable movies to date. Even if you consider yourself a die-hard fan, there’s no way you would have known these extra secrets about the movie.

Pretty Woman And The Facts You Never Knew

It made almost half a billion dollars at the box office, picked up multiple Oscar and Golden Globe nominations, and was almost singlehandedly responsible for the 1990s rom-com boom.

Basically, Pretty Woman was kind of a big deal.

28 years later, it still is: almost three decades on, Garry Marshall’s seminal romantic comedy has reached almost mythical status.

But the film is so much more interesting than its own lore. And so, we decided to break it down and dredge up some priceless facts on it.

Here are 21 things you probably missed about Pretty Woman.

21. The Pretty Woman necklace scene was improvised

It’s probably Pretty Woman’s most famous scene – and it almost didn’t make it into the film.

Says director Garry Marshall, the film’s necklace scene wasn’t actually scripted in the way it turned out.

When it came to the day of shooting the scene alongside Richard Gere, Julia Roberts was feeling a little under the weather.

Gere decided to perk up Roberts by trying to make her laugh, snapping the box of the necklace on the actress’ hand as she went to grab it.

Neither Gere nor Roberts were in character in the moment, but Marshall liked the spontaneity of it so much that he decided to keep it in the film. It was late in the editing stage that the director finally decided to use the scene: “We put it in… and it became like the trademark of the movie.”

20. The necklace itself was worth A LOT

Richard Gere might not have treated the necklace with such irreverence if he’d known just how much the ‘prop’ had cost.

In actuality, the piece of jewellery that Vivian wears to the opera wasn’t a prop at all, but a very real, very expensive store-rented item.

The necklace was worth a whopping $250,000.

To put that in context, the film cost $14 million to make. Custom made by French jeweller Fred Joaillier, the necklace was made from 23 pear-cut rubies, surrounded by diamond-encrusted hearts and set in 18k white gold.

So valuable was the item, a gun-toting security guard from Fred’s – the store that rented out the piece – stood behind the director throughout the filming of the scene.

The filmmakers were so thankful for the store’s generosity that they gave it a little cameo in the film – you can see the sign for ‘Fred’s’ in the screenshot above.

19. The Pretty Woman Poster

Photoshopping has become so ubiquitous these days, it’s hard to trust any image at face value. Back when Pretty Woman first went on release in 1990, however, people were more willing to suspend disbelief. That’s why nobody questioned it when the Pretty Woman release poster arrived looking…a little off.

And it’s not just that famously grey-haired gentleman Richard Gere’s coiffure appears darker than it really was 28 years ago.

There’s also the small issue of the woman stood next to him not actually being Julia Roberts. In reality, this was Roberts’ body double, Shelley Michelle, with Roberts’ face superimposed over it.

The reason why Roberts doesn’t flaunt her body all for the sake of a movie? Apparently, “it’s just not my thing.” Fair enough, Jules.

18. Roberts was so nervous she was physically ill during the sex scenes

Julia Roberts didn’t just need putting at ease in scenes that required genuine-seeming laughter.

Understandably, what with this being her first ever film as a leading woman, Roberts was often nervous making Pretty Woman.

The sex scenes in particular proved nerve-wracking for the then-23-year-old actress. Roberts’ stage fright was so great that she actually had a physical reaction, breaking out in hives in the run-up to shooting.

Roberts also got so nervous about the sex scenes that a vein spontaneously popped out on her forehead.

The solution was to administer calamine lotion to Roberts’ hives and for Gere and Marshall to personally massage the vein on her forehead away.

17. Diane Lane was cast as Vivian but dropped out

Having already appeared in The Cotton Club with him in 1984, Diane Lane was almost set for a reunion with Richard Gere in 1990.

Back when the script was a very different one, Lane was cast as Vivian opposite Gere.

The film was even being designed with Lane in mind at one stage, before Roberts was given the part. Lane was being fitted for costumes as Vivian when it emerged that her schedule was going to get in the way – and she was forced to drop out.

Fortunately for her, it wouldn’t be the last opportunity Lane would have to star alongside Gere.

Lane would later star with Gere in Unfaithful, only this time their characters’ ‘romance’ would be far less romantic.

16. The original ending was super depressing

According to Diane Lane, before she departed the project, Pretty Woman was set to end on a super depressing note.

After she left production, Lane says the film “got Disney-fied,” and was left nothing like the film she signed on for.

In the version Lane had planned to make, Pretty Woman would have had no happy ending for Vivian at all. The reason Vivian needed money in the original script was that she had her sights set on going to Disneyland.

She would have ultimately gotten her wish – the film was to close on Vivian and a prostitute friend on the bus to Disney – but only after Vivian and Edward’s ‘relationship’ had been unceremoniously brought to an end.

In Lane’s words, “this crazy biatch was kicked out of a rolling limo at the end because she thought that this guy was really in love with her. She was only hired for the weekend.”

15. Karen Gillan played the Julia Roberts role in a ‘sequel’

Did you know that Doctor Who and Guardians of the Galaxy star Karen Gillan also played Vivian Ward?

Well…technically. You’d have to go back to 2008, back when most people had never even heard the name ‘Karen Gillan’ before.

Before she’d made a name for herself in Doctor Who as Amy Pond, Gillan was a repertory player in The Kevin Bishop Show.

A sketch show featuring comedian Kevin Bishop’s skewed take on various films and TV shows, one particular sketch saw Gillan reprise Julia Roberts’ most famous role.

The sketch finds Vivian returning for an ‘unnecessary sequel’ to Pretty Woman, called Pretty Woman 2: Back to Working Girl.

And so we have Karen Gillan, playing Julia Roberts, playing Vivian as a married woman and looking to get back in the game now the kids are grown up.

It may not be much, but to date it’s the only Pretty Woman sequel we have…

14. It’s Richard Gere’s ‘least favourite’ film

Pretty Woman didn’t make Richard Gere a star – he was already a household name thanks to the likes of American Gigolo and An Officer and a Gentleman – but it might be the film that he’s best known for today.

That doesn’t mean, however, that Gere himself thinks of the film any more fondly than the others he’s made. In fact, Gere has confessed to actively disliking Pretty Woman more than any of his own movies.

In 2012, while doing press for the Wall Street drama Arbitrage, Gere revealed that Pretty Woman was “my least favourite thing” in his 40-year career.

“People ask me about that movie, but I’ve forgotten it”, he continued. For Gere, Pretty Woman was simply “a silly romantic comedy.”

That didn’t stop Gere from doing press for the film’s 25th anniversary in 2015, however, alongside Julia Roberts and director Garry Marshall. Maybe he’s finally come round.

13. Al Pacino almost played Edward

It’s not easy to imagine Pretty Woman without Richard Gere in the lead role, but bear with us for just a moment. You see, Gere wasn’t the director’s first pick to play Edward. Instead, Scarface and Godfather star Al Pacino was.

In what would have been a major departure for the actor, Pacino seriously considered making Pretty Woman before turning it down.

Pacino got as far as doing a reading with the cast, at a time when Julia Roberts already on-board. Following the reading, with an offer to make a third Godfather film on the table, Pacino pulled out.

He wasn’t the only one: Burt Reynolds was also in the running to play Edward, but he too declined to take part.

When asked, many years later, why he elected to turn Pretty Woman down, Reynolds could only say: “Because I’m an idiot.”

12. Daniel Day-Lewis and Molly Ringwald were considered for the lead roles

Pretty Woman was a film that had spent a long time in development in the 80s – and, by the time it came to shooting, everybody wanted to be a part of it.

As such, director Garry Marshall had his pick of actors, and on his initial shortlist was a who’s who of 80s stars.

For Vivian, Marshall auditioned Winona Ryder and Jennifer Connelly before he decided they were too young.

He also considered Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink star Molly Ringwald, but she turned the film down because she didn’t want to play a prostitute.

To play Edward, Marshall had in mind Denzel Washington, already an Oscar nominee, and Superman himself, Christopher Reeve.

Also considered by Marshall to play Pretty Woman’s charming businessman was none other than method king Daniel Day-Lewis.

11. The red dress wasn’t supposed to be red

A couple of last-minute costume changes helped to make Pretty Woman the film we know and love today.

The famous red dress that Vivian wears to the opera, for one thing, was almost black. Black was the studio’s preferred colour, but the film’s costume designer Marilyn Vance knew it wouldn’t work.

After a lengthy process involving three different creations and multiple test shots, Vance won the battle. They settled on the now-iconic red dress.

There was also another scene involving a piece of Vivian’s clothing that benefited from an 11th hour change.

The red coat that Vivian wears throughout the film came from a movie theatre usher who Garry Marshall met just prior to shooting the film. She had paid $30 for it.

10. Vivian’s breakfast changes from one shot to the next

No matter how tightly run a film production is, continuity fails still can and do happen. Pretty Woman, inevitably, has a few continuity errors of its own lurking in the edit. Have you ever paid close attention, for example, to the scene where Vivian is eating a hotel breakfast in her dressing gown?

“So, what do you do?” Vivian asks Edward, and as they discuss his line of work, she’s seen working her way through a croissant.

Vivian then asks “How far did you go in school?”, and as he replies – “I went all the way” – the camera cuts back to her.

The croissant has turned into a pancake, cleverly bitten into a half-moon shape to resemble the French pastry it just replaced.

9. The film was originally much darker

The film that we know and love is a classically feelgood Hollywood romance – but Pretty Woman could have turned out very different. The script for the movie, as written by JF Lawton, was much darker than the almost fairytale-like version released into cinemas.

In the original story, Vivian was a cocaine addict, and Edward only hired her under the proviso she remain teetotal during their time together.

Though some of Vivian’s more troubling traits were incorporated into the character of Kit instead – Vivian was originally supposed to have been found dead from cocaine abuse by Vivian – some less wholesome scenes involving Vivian were still shot.

Deleted scenes include Vivian offering Edward a no-nonsense sexual transaction, telling him matter-of-factly “I could just pop you good and be on my way”.

Another scene shot but not included in the film was the one in which Vivian was confronted by drug dealers outside of The Blue Banana, but this too was deemed too intense for a rom-com audience.

8. Werner Herzog was asked to direct the film

Before Pretty Woman underwent a rom-com makeover, directors considered more suited to the darker material were sought. Once he became attached, Richard Gere apparently did some of the shopping around himself. According to Werner Herzog, German director of such dark and eccentric films as Fitzcarraldo and Aguirre, the Wrath of God, he was one of the filmmakers approached.

It makes sense – Herzog moved to LA in the 90s, at which point he began making American films, and Gere has claimed Herzog is one of his favourite directors.

Still, it’s impossible to imagine Herzog taking on the film even before it transformed into a feelgood movie.

With Herzog a no, Garry Marshall, director of the comedies Overboard and Beaches, stepped in.

7. The director had to tickle Julia Roberts’ feet to get natural laughter

The necklace scene isn’t the only one that contains some real-life laughter from Roberts.

As with that necklace scene, director Garry Marshall decided he wanted a bit more spontaneity from one early scene between Vivian and Edward. As Vivian lays on the floor of Edward’s penthouse watching I Love Lucy on the TV, she begins laughing hysterically.

This wasn’t fake laughter from Roberts, however – director Garry Marshall gave her some assistance in that department. In order to get Roberts to laugh for real, Marshall would tickle the actress’ feet while remaining just out of shot.

He’s there just off-camera in the scene, though whether or not Marshall used a feather to get the desired reaction is unclear.

6. That’s really Richard Gere playing the piano

He may be an award-winning movie star, but Richard Gere’s artistic gifts aren’t just limited to acting. As it turns out, ‘talented musician and composer’ is another string Gere has to his creative bow.

During the scene in Pretty Woman where Edward plays piano, that’s really Gere tinkling the ivories.

Not only that, but the piece of music that Gere plays is an original, the actor having composed it himself.

It’s not the only time Gere has shown off his musical talents on-screen; in 1993’s Mr Jones, Gere played the piano for film again.

Gere also played a guitar solo in 1999’s Runaway Bride, did song-and-dance numbers for 2002’s Chicago and played an ageing Bob Dylan in 2007’s I’m Not There.

5. Critics hated the film

It’s long since been embraced as a classic, but at first the critics really didn’t ‘get’ Pretty Woman. When it opened in March 1990, reviews for Garry Marshall’s film were mixed, while some critics downright hated it.

Time’s Richard Corliss, in a one-star review, called Pretty Woman “Old-fashioned, assembly-line moviemaking without the old panache.”

Entertainment Weekly, meanwhile, dismissed the film as “slow, earnest and rhythmless.”

In a more positive review, The Hollywood Reporter called the comedy “slickly delivered” while criticising its “almost preternatural disregard for women’s feelings”.

Not everyone was in agreement – legendary critic Roger Ebert called Pretty Woman the “sweetest and most openhearted love fable since The Princess Bride” – but it took years for the film to be more generally embraced as the classic it’s widely viewed as today.

4. The film is called something very different in China

It’s not always a smooth journey for Hollywood movie titles as they go through the process of translation for foreign markets.

Some of the worst offenders include Italy’s If You Leave Me, I Delete You (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), Germany’s The Unbelievable Trip in a Wacky Aeroplane (Airplane!) and Japan’s The Hole of Malkovich (Being John Malkovich).

Nonetheless, for the most part, Pretty Woman survived the translation process as it made its way abroad.

Where Spanish-speaking markets got Mujer Bonita, French speakers got the delightfully-named Une Jolie Femme. When Pretty Woman made its way over to China, however, something went very wrong.

In the People’s Republic, Pretty Woman became the catchy ‘I Will Marry a Prostitute to Save Money’. As fans will now know, and as Chinese audiences in 1990 were to find out, I Will Marry a Prostitute to Save Money doesn’t even accurately reflect the plot.

3. Julia Roberts convinced Richard Gere to do the film with a post-it note

It’s probably his most famous ever role, but Richard Gere almost didn’t want the part of Edward at all. After Gere auditioned opposite Julia Roberts, the two had such obvious chemistry that the role was virtually his.

However, the actor wasn’t interested in the project, and Pretty Woman was temporarily left Gere-less.

Hearing that Gere was going to decline, Roberts decided to take action using some smartly utilised office stationery. It’s been said that Gere was on the phone, ready to turn the role down, when Roberts gave Gere a career-changing post-it note.

Roberts’ note read, simply, ‘Please say yes’. Gere must be pretty easily swayed, because the note prompted him to immediately change his mind, and accept the role there and then.

2. The film’s original title was changed because it sounded ‘like science fiction’

It’s an iconic title for an iconic film – but Pretty Woman was almost released under a different name altogether. Originally, the film’s title was the much vaguer and not-exactly-audience-friendly ‘3000’.

Taken from the amount that Edward and Vivian agree upon for a week of her company, this original title reflected the film’s darker origins, as a movie focusing on the nature of sex work.

The title only changed because studio execs thought 3000 suggested science fiction rather than a romantic comedy.

Ultimately, as the Roy Orbison tune on the soundtrack emerged as a standout, the filmmakers landed on the much more rom-com-esque Pretty Woman. Still, who’s to say that 3000 wouldn’t have made $463 million worldwide as Pretty Woman did?

1. There’s a big age gap between the leads

The romance between Pretty Woman’s Edward and Vivian is an unconventional one, and not just because there’s money changing hands.

If we’re to assume the two lead actors were playing ages similar to their own, then there’s more than class and wealth that separates Edward and Vivian.

It’s never made reference to in the film, but there’s a huge age gap between the two characters. Then only just starting out in the industry, Julia Roberts was 23 at the time of filming Pretty Woman.

In contrast, Richard Gere had been acting since the early 70s. He was already 41 when he shot the film. Though it did nothing to stunt their chemistry, this made for an age gap of 18 years between the two leads.

It probably wasn’t much of an issue for Gere, though.

Now aged 69, the actor only this year got married for the third time – to the 35-year-old Alejandra Silva.

20 Things You Might Not Know About Pretty Woman

“What’s your dream?” Garry Marshall’s Pretty Woman was all about big dreams—Hollywood-sized dreams, in fact—so it seems especially fitting that the 1990 romantic comedy became a smash hit, launching the career of starlet Julia Roberts and forever injecting the idea of the “hooker with a heart of gold” into the pop culture vernacular. Marshall’s movie turns 25 years old today, and to celebrate, we’ve got a giant birthday cake-sized trove of trivia you might not know about this new classic.


Screenwriter J.F. Lawton’s original script, which was titled 3000, wasn’t a love story—and it didn’t have a happy ending. Instead of a rom-com about two very different people finding love, it was a grittier tale about two damaged individuals who spent a week together that ends in tears and zero hope for a balcony-set reunion scene.


As dark as 3000 was, it ended with Vivian and her best pal Kit headed to The Happiest Place on Earth: Disneyland. That scene was ultimately cut after the film was restyled as a rom-com, but it proved to be weirdly prescient about the feature’s future—the movie was eventually produced by Disney.


Although Lawton is the only credited screenwriter on the project—which means he contributed more than half of its content—other scribes took a pass at it in order to turn it into the beloved gem it is today, including Stephen Metcalfe (Cousins), Robert Garland (No Way Out), and Barbara Benedek (The Big Chill).

4. Julia Roberts was interested in the film from the very beginning.

No, really! Lawton’s first version of the story—the darker 3000—was a well-regarded script that was set to be made as it was, before its production company went belly up. Even in its grittier incarnation, the up-and-coming Roberts was interested in the role of Vivian. She was always going to be the pretty woman.

5. Roberts tested against a variety of Hollywood leading men.

They included Sam Neill, Tom Conti, and Charles Grodin. Of course it was Richard Gere who eventually snagged the part of Edward Lewis.

6. The film really was shot at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel.

It was mostly a matter of convenience; it was the only hotel in Beverly Hills that would allow Marshall to film both inside and outside. (Fans of the movie can book a “Pretty Woman for a Day” stay at the hotel.) Additional scenes were filmed at the nearby Ambassador Hotel—the same Ambassador Hotel where Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in 1968—which was demolished in 2005.

7. It’s the fourth highest grossing romantic comedy in American history.

With a box office total take of just over $178.4 million, Pretty Woman trails only My Big Fat Greek Wedding, What Women Want, and Hitch, which means it’s still the highest-grossing romantic comedy of the nineties (There’s Something About Mary, which opened in 1998, is just behind it with $176,484,651).

8. Pretty Woman is classified as a “Cinderella Complex” film.

Online box office resource Box Office Mojo places the film within the “Cinderella Complex” category, a genre that also includes Ever After, She’s All That, and The Devil Wears Prada. Pretty Woman is considered the second highest grossing film within the category, right behind My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

9. Even the original screenplay includes that infamous shopping scene.

One element of the film that remained intact over the course of its many script changes is the scene in which some rude saleswomen at a Beverly Hills boutique refuse to sell to Vivian because they don’t think she can afford anything. In 3000, Vivian also goes back to the shop to show off her wares after a more successful shopping excursion, but she doesn’t use that seminal “Big mistake!” line.

10. A woman added in one of the film’s most important final lines.

Producer Laura Ziskin is often credited with turning the film into a fairytale, and while that’s exactly not true (again, there were at least four writers on this feature alone), she did contribute one of the film’s final lines: “She saves him right back,” delivered by an emboldened Vivian on a scuzzy fire escape, after Edward comes to, well, rescue her.

11. That’s not Julia Roberts on the film’s poster.

Although Roberts sports a very familiar outfit on the film’s classic poster, you may notice that the colors of her dress are all wrong (pink and black, instead of white and blue). But there’s something else that’s not quite right: that body does not belong to Roberts! Body double Shelley Michelle posed for the pic, and Roberts’ head was later superimposed onto Michelle’s body.

12. The opera that Vivian and Edward attend is La Traviata.

It’s the opera that made Vivian almost pee her pants, it was so good! But it’s also an opera that’s oddly reflective of the story at hand, because La Traviata is also about a prostitute who falls in love with a rich gentleman. That tale ends tragically, however, with courtesan Violetta falling ill with tuberculosis, singing one last song, and dying in her lover’s arms.

13. A lot of would-be stars turned down the film.

They included Jennifer Connelly, Michelle Pfeiffer, Daryl Hannah, Al Pacino, Albert Brooks, Burt Reynolds, and Jeff Bridges. Big mistake. Big! Huge!

14. Director Garry Marshall appears in a cameo. Sort of.

Remember that homeless man that Edward asks for directions early on in the film, before getting hopelessly lost in Hollywood? That’s not Marshall, but it is his voice!

15. The red dress Vivian wears to the opera was designed by Marilyn Vance-Straker.

Vance-Straker also designed costumes for films like Fast Times At Ridgemont High, The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

16. Prince’s “Kiss” does not appear on the film’s soundtrack.

Even though Vivian memorably sings along to the song in the hotel’s massive bathtub—complete with kissing sounds—Prince’s “Kiss” doesn’t actually appear on the film’s soundtrack.

17. But the song from which the film takes its title does.

That would be “Oh, Pretty Woman,” by Roy Orbison.

18. The film was nominated for four Golden Globes.

And Roberts actually won for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy, beating out Mia Farrow, Andie MacDowell, Demi Moore, and even Meryl Streep! Though Roberts was still a relative newcomer at the time, the award marked her second consecutive Golden Globe; she took home the Best Supporting Actress award one year earlier for Steel Magnolias. Roberts also scored an Oscar nod for her role in Pretty Woman.

19. Vivian’s borrowed necklace was worth a quarter of a million dollars.

The necklace was loaned to the production for filming purposes, and it came complete with its very own security guard, who reportedly stood directly behind Marshall the entire time it was being used on screen.

20. The film’s fancy restaurant scene was shot at a real restaurant.

Back then, the downtown Los Angeles restaurant was called Rex II Ristorante, though it’s now known as Cicada (in the film, it was called The Voltaire). The restaurant has appeared in a number of movies, including Indecent Proposal and Bruce Almighty. Patrons can actually request “The Pretty Woman Table.”

12 Fascinating Facts to Celebrate Pretty Woman’s 25th Anniversary

Moviestore Collection/Rex USA

After a quarter of a century, Pretty Woman is back to charm us with its street smarts once again.

To celebrate the film’s 25th anniversary, the original cast reunited on Today to reminisce about the days of the cassette Walkman and filming this Garry Marshall romantic comedy.

Looking at the cast, it is hard to believe over two decades have passed since Vivian Ward (played by Julia Roberts) got swept away by Edward Lewis (portrayed by Richard Gere), teaching all of us some very valuable life lessons in the process.

The 1990 film is now known as the classic that turned Roberts into an international star, but there’s still some things Pretty Woman fans might’ve missed, even with repeated viewings.

Celebrate 25 years of Gere, red dresses and not kissing on the mouth by checking out these surprising behind-the-scenes facts about Pretty Woman.

1. Molly Ringwald and Michelle Pfeiffer both turned down the role of Vivian Ward because they were worried about the script’s content.

Image zoom Molly Ringwald and Michelle Pfeiffer Rob Latour/Rex USA; Jason Merritt/FilmMagic

2. Al Pacino and Daniel Day-Lewis were both considered for the part of Edward Lewis before Gere was chosen.

Image zoom Al Pacino and Daniel Day-Lewis Matt Sayles/AP; Stephen Lovekin/Getty

3. Pretty Woman features Simpsons actor Hank Azaria in his first film role – he plays a detective.

Image zoom Hank Azaria

4. Roberts spent several days at a Los Angeles free clinic, where Marshall’s wife worked as a nurse, to help prepare for her role.

5. Hector Elizondo’s hotel manager character was originally supposed to wear a hearing aid as part of the role, but the director ultimately decided against it.

6. Roberts’s dog was on set the day the first sex scene in the movie was shot and kept interrupting the takes.

7. While the hotel in the movie is supposed to the be the Beverly Wilshire, Pretty Woman was actually filmed at Los Angeles’ Ambassador Hotel, which was torn down in 2005 to build several schools.

Image zoom The Ambassador Hotel David F. Smith/AP

8. The film was originally called 3000, in reference to Vivian’s price, but was changed after test audiences said it was confusing.

9. The famous scene where Gere gives Roberts the diamond necklace was filmed the day after her 21st birthday.

10. Gere’s box snap wasn’t in the script, it was a prank he and Marshall planned as a surprise for the tired birthday girl. Roberts’s reaction is genuine.

11. During his fight scene with Jason Alexander, Gere lost a crown on his tooth and finished the scene with the loose crown in his mouth.

12. The opera the main characters go to see is La Traviata, which is about a man falling in love with a prostitute.

Guys, we don’t want to alarm you, but Pretty Woman is 28 years old.

But instead of setting this story on fire, we found a few things we didn’t know about the movie.

1. Sandra Bullock, Meg Ryan, Madonna, Kristin Davis, Sarah Jessica Parker and Drew Barrymore all reportedly considered the lead role of Vivian.

We couldn’t imagine anyone other than Julia Roberts, who was only 21 when she got the gig.

2. That famous Pretty Woman poster is actually Julia Roberts’s head superimposed onto her body double’s (Shelley Michelle) body.

3. Pretty Woman is actually a Disney movie. Yep. The “Cinder-f**kin’-rella” reference takes on new meaning now.

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4. It was originally going to be called $3000, after the amount of money Edward and Vivian agree on, but execs thought it sounded like a science fiction flick.

5. The original script was dark AF with Vivian being addicted to drugs. Her staying off cocaine for a week would have been part of the deal and the film would have ended with Edward throwing Vivian out of the car and Vivian getting on a bus to Disneyland with the $3000 she earned.

6. Edward snapping the necklace case down on Vivian’s fingers was totally improvised and Roberts’ surprised laugh was genuine. It’s now probs the most iconic moment of the entire movie.

7. Speaking of that necklace, it was $250,000 and came with its own armed guard.

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8. Speaking again of that scene, the red dress Viv wears to the opera was almost a less-impressive black. Producers wanted black but costume designer Marilyn Vance knew it had to be red. After a bunch of test shots, common sense prevailed and history was made. It’s actually been listed among the most unforgettable dresses of all time.

9. Oh, and the opera they saw? That was La Traviata, which is about a prostitute who falls in love with a wealthy man.

10. OK, so you know how you just can’t imagine anyone other than Roberts to play Viv, imagine the character of Edward being played by John Travolta. Or Sylvester Stallone. Or Christopher Reeve, Denzel Washington or Daniel Day-Lewis? Nah? Me either. But they were all considered.

11. Richard Gere basically thought his character was dull as, describing the part as simply “a suit”.

12. When asked about the film glorifying prostitution, Julia told The Guardian: “What are you going to do? You can’t please everybody. That movie was a fairytale. We did everything but put a glass slipper on. And I’ll tell you something else: for $3,000 a weekend, Richard Gere got a bargain.”

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13. Remember the scene where Edward played the piano? Not only was Richard Gere playing that piano for real, he actually composed the piece he played.

1. Pretty Woman is actually a Disney movie. Weird. (The Cinder-fuckin’-rella reference means so much more now).

2. It was originally going to be called $3000, after the amount of money Edward and Vivian agree on.

3. Sandra Bullock, Meg Ryan, Madonna, Kristin Davis, Sarah Jessica Parker and Drew Barrymore were all reportedly among the actresses who were considered for the role of Vivian.

4. That famous Pretty Woman poster is actually Julia Roberts’s head superimposed onto her body double’s (Shelley Michelle) body. Also Richard Gere’s hair is black, when it’s grey in the film.

Everett Collection/REX

5. It was initially created as a dark drama about prostitution in LA and Vivian was going to be addicted to drugs. Her staying off cocaine for a week would have been part of the deal and the film would have ended with Edward throwing Vivian out of the car and Vivian getting the bus to Disneyland with the money she’s earned. Cheery.

6. Pretty Woman was the first film Hank Azaria had lines in. He later went on to play Phoebe’s scientist boyfriend David in Friends!

7. You can actually enjoy a Pretty Woman ‘experience’ The Beverly Wilshire. If you’ve got a spare $100,000.


8. Edward snapping the necklace case down on Vivian’s fingers like it is biting her was improvised by Richard Gere.

9. Oh and the necklace was actually really expensive IRL. It cost $250,000 and came with an armed guard.

10. The iconic red opera dress was almost a less impressive black. The studio wanted black, but costume designer Marilyn Vance knew it needed to be red. After a lengthy process involving three different creations and multiple test shots, Marilyn rightly won the battle. Hurrah!

11. Plus, the opera they see is La Traviata, which is about a prostitute who falls in love with a wealthy man.


12. John Travolta reportedly auditioned for the part of Edward and Sylvester Stallone is said to have turned down the part. Christopher Reeve, Denzel Washington and Daniel Day-Lewis were also considered.

13. Richard Gere basically thought his character was dull AF when he originally read the script and said: “How would you know? It was a silly little script, and when it came to me, the part was a suit. It was like put someone in the suit, basically.”

14. The bloopers are actually LOL and feature Julia and Richard doing karaoke:

15. The scene where Julia Roberts is laughing at the black and white comedy on TV (you know, right before she gives Edward a blow job), the director had to tickle her feet to get her to laugh.

16. When asked about the film glorifying prostitution, Julia told The Guardian: “What are you going to do? You can’t please everybody. That movie was a fairytale. We did everything but put a glass slipper on. And I’ll tell you something else: for $3,000 a weekend, Richard Gere got a bargain.”

17. Julia Roberts got SO nervous about the sex scenes that she not only broke out in hives, but a vein popped out on her forehead, which had to be massaged away by Richard Gere and director Garry Marshall. Sexual.


18. Richard Gere is ACTUALLY playing the piano in the piano scene and composed the piece of music he’s playing. (But the sex bit was fake, obvs).

19. Speaking of piano, an official Broadway musical of the film is currently in the works, with director Gary Marshall telling Deadline: “We’ve had a couple of little readings of it with temporary music, and it’s not bad.”

20. The deleted scenes are AMAZING. They include Vivian putting packet ketchup on her posh steak meal, a romantic sunset horse ride and a whole bit where Edward nearly gets into a fight with a gang trying to take drug money from Vivian. OOH:

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Claire Hodgson Digital Editorial Director Claire Hodgson is the Editor of, overseeing all things digital.

Pretty Woman turns 25 today, and that means one thing: You’re going to see a lot of retrospectives and hear a lot of trivia this week. But if you’re like me, you already know so much about the film. For instance, the scene where Richard Gere shows Julia Roberts the necklace and he slams it and she laughs? That wasn’t scripted. Or did you notice Julia is eating a croissant in one scene and a split second later, it turns into a pancake? So just because we’re taking a look back in time doesn’t mean we have to go over the same trivia. Behold facts, from the DVD director’s cut commentary, that we’re sure you haven’t heard before about this classic film, which is still my favorite romantic comedy ever!

*When Julia Roberts has to say, “Yeah, I’m gonna grab a cab with my 20 bucks,” in the beginning of the film, she accidentally said, “Yeah, I’m gonna grab a crab with my 20 bucks,” to which Richard Gere deadpanned, “Yeah, there are a lot of crabs out there.” Obviously, that version didn’t make it into the film.

*When Julia was in the bathtub singing, Richard thought it would be funny to leave the room when she comes up for air. When she does, she exclaims, “Where’d you go? Everybody left, you fuckers?!”

*The Pretty Woman wrap party took place at a bowling alley in Los Angeles.

*Many of you already know that Garry Marshall played the homeless man telling Richard Gere where Sylvester Stallone’s house is, but what you may not realize is that he also plays a janitor at the Regent Beverly Wilshire working outside the hotel. The other man in that scene was the movie’s cinematographer.

*When Garry Marshall was growing up, he was always lost, so he loved maps, so that’s why he likes locations in a film.

*When Marshall was shooting in Hollywood, “it wasn’t so polished up. It was a little seedier. I had to shoot it fast. We didn’t have a big budget to shoot there.” In fact, a lot of the scenes there were shot just using the lights from the neon signs nearby.

*They had to shoot the Rodeo Drive scenes on Sunday because the “rest of the days they are open,” said Marshall. “Goodness knows, they don’t want to lose a dollar!”

*The Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel was actually a speedway and an apartment building before it became a hotel.

Did you know there are an array of famous celebrities who know how to play a piano? We’re not talking chopsticks here, folks. From actors to politicians and beyond, there is a long history of pianists that have gone on to spectacular careers.

Are you familiar with these high-flying celebrities who know how to play a piano?

1. Clint Eastwood

Before he made it big as an actor, Clint Eastwood was an accomplished pianist who intended to pursue a career in music. He later utilized his composing skills in creating the film scores of several movies he directed, including Million Dollar Baby, Mystic River, Changeling, and Hereafter.

2. Hugh Laurie

An accomplished pianist who began learning how to play a piano at the age of six, Hugh Laurie not only has two solo albums, but was also a guest artist on Meatloaf’s 2010 album “Hello Cool Teddy Bear”.

3. Jamie Foxx

Jamie Foxx began learning how to play a piano at age five, eventually playing piano at local church services. He later attended United States International University on a music scholarship, where he studied study classical music and composition. In his Oscar-winning role as Ray Charles in Ray, it is actually Mr. Foxx’s fingers tickling the ivories.

4. Richard Gere

Richard Gere started early as a musician. He played a number of instruments in high school, including the piano, and wrote music for high school productions. In his infamous role in Pretty Woman, Gere in fact composed the piece of music he was seen playing in the film.

5. Condoleezza Rice

Condoleezza Rice began learning how to play a piano as a teenager and dreamed of becoming a concert pianist before pursuing her degrees in International Relations and Economics. She had the opportunity to accompany renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma for the 2002 National Medal of Arts Awards and still plays the piano often today.

6. Jeff Goldblum

Before he was an actor, Jeff Goldblum made a name for himself playing piano in cocktail lounges around Pittsburgh. Nowadays, when he’s not acting, he plays regularly at home, in addition to nearly weekly jazz shows at the LA club Rockwell.

Want to Go Down in Infamy?

Do you or your children find yourself entranced in the presence of pianists and wish you too could learn how to play a piano? Whether you’re looking for a beautiful escape or a long-term career, private piano lessons are a great way to further your interests and improve your skills. Sharpen your life skills and open up new pathways to creativity with the help of music today!

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Search thousands of prescreened teachers for local and live, online lessons. Sign up for safe, affordable private lessons today!

Photo credits: Heelow,, Virgin Media, Daily Mail Online, USA Today, New York Times, ReviewSTL

1. The cast could’ve been VERY different
Hard to believe, but yes, as perfect as Richard Gere was as Edward Lewis, he wasn’t the first choice. The role was first offered to Al Pacino and Silvester Stallone, and we’ll be honest, we’re pretty pleased they turned it down.

Meanwhile, the producers originally had Meg Ryan in mind to play Vivian. This is what it would’ve looked like (sort of)…

2. That’s not Julia Roberts on the poster
Julia Roberts’ head was photoshopped onto body double Shelley Michelle’s for the poster. That’s also not Julia rolling over in her bed at the beginning.

3. Richard Gere actually plays the piano
You know that scene before things get heated on the piano? That’s actually Richard Gere playing, and he composed the piece himself too. There is no end to this man’s talents.

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4. They changed the title
The movie was originally titled $3,000, the sum Edward first pays to spend the night with Vivian.

5. Vivian never sits on a chair
Look closely and you’ll notice Vivian hardly ever sits on a chair. A table yes. A balcony rail yes. But a chair? Nope. The director wanted to show the prostitute was more comfortable sitting on the floor than on furniture.

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6. Julia Roberts was really, really young
Did you know Julia was only 21 when she filmed Pretty Woman?

7. The necklace scene
The necklace scene, where Edward snaps the box shut on Vivian’s fingers, was not planned people! It was just a bit of genius improv by Gere and Julia’s laugh is totally natural.

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Incidentally, said necklace was worth $250,000 and had to be guarded the whole time.

8. The opera
Edward takes Vivian to see La Traviata, which is about a prostitute falling in love with a rich man!

9. A different storyline
Originally, Vivian was supposed to be addicted to cocaine, and part of the deal with Ed was for her to stop drugs for a week. They then decided to lighten the storyline a little bit.

10. Awkward sex scene
During the sex scene, Julia was so nervous that a vein popped on her forehead. So the director got in bed with her and Richard and they rubbed the vein until it disappeared.

Did you know any of these? Tweet us @GHmagazine

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