Julia Roberts still can’t believe she landed the lead in 1990’s Pretty Woman because the odds were stacked against her from the start.
In a new Variety interview, the actress learned fellow Oscar winner Patricia Arquette also auditioned for the role of down-on-her-luck Hollywood sex worker Vivian Ward, with the pair revealing that the movie was originally called 3,000 and had a “really heavy” ending.
While audiences are familiar with businessman Edward Lewis (Richard Gere) arriving at Vivian’s apartment to declare his love minutes before she’s due to leave Los Angeles, producers at the small film studio that initially had Pretty Woman wanted Edward to take a very different approach to his relationship.
“(Edward) 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,” said Julia. “I got the part in 3,000. I love that you’re asking me this question, but I had no business being in a movie like that. This small movie company folded over the weekend, and by Monday, I didn’t have a job.”
With all of the drama, Julia felt sure her dream role would never see the light of day.
However, one of the original producers continued to champion the project, with the movie ending up at Disney and in the hands of director Garry Marshall.
“I thought, ‘Went to Disney? Are they going to animate it?'” the 51-year-old remembered. “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. And they changed the whole thing. And it became more something that is in my wheelhouse.”
During the conversation, Patricia also noted that she has a “fantasy of recasting” Julia in the original 3,000 script, and is adamant the star “could even do it now”.
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