Richard Gere’s Reluctance and Julia Roberts’ Persuasion in Making ‘Pretty Woman’

Richard Gere first refused to do 'Pretty Woman' but Julia Roberts used three words to win him over

It’s hard to believe that anyone other than Richard Gere could have played the suave and charming Edward opposite Julia Roberts’ endearing Vivian in the beloved romantic comedy “Pretty Woman”. But did you know that Gere actually turned down the role in the beginning? It was because of Julia Roberts’ persistence and three simple words that he eventually changed his mind.

From “3000” to a Fairy Tale

When the cast of “Pretty Woman” reunited in 2015, some interesting secrets were revealed. The film was originally intended to have a much darker storyline called “3000”. It revolved around a drug-addicted prostitute who, in the end, gets thrown out of a limousine onto the street with $3000 thrown on her back. However, with director Garry Marshall and Disney stepping in, the film underwent a transformation, becoming the modern-day Cinderella story we all know and love.

The cast of 'Pretty Woman' reunites

Gere’s Initial Hesitation

Despite the lighter tone of the revised script, Richard Gere initially had reservations about starring in “Pretty Woman”. He turned down the role multiple times, unable to comprehend why the character of Edward was so appealing to audiences. However, Garry Marshall, the visionary director who believed in the on-screen chemistry between Roberts and Gere, remained determined to cast Gere.

Marshall, known for his love of happy endings and his successful films like “Beaches”, “Runaway Bride”, “Valentine’s Day”, and “New Year’s Eve”, understood that the pairing of Gere and Roberts was crucial for the success of “Pretty Woman”. With this in mind, he took an unconventional approach to bring the two actors together.

Persuasion by Julia Roberts

Marshall left Gere and Roberts alone in a room, hoping that their connection would ignite on-screen. And it did. Gere found himself captivated by Roberts, and he recalls a defining moment when she wrote a note that simply said, “Please say yes.” This small yet powerful gesture, combined with the growing bond between them, convinced Gere to finally take on the role of Edward.

“We cannot imagine ‘Pretty Woman’ without Julia Roberts and Richard Gere! Those two are so perfect in that film, and the chemistry they share is what makes it timeless,” gushes one fan. “And that fire escape scene at the end when Gere climbs up to rescue Roberts’ Vivian? It gives me chills every time!”

A Match Made in Cinematic Heaven

It’s safe to say that Julia Roberts’ unwavering belief and persuasive words played a major role in bringing Richard Gere on board. Their undeniable chemistry on-screen is what turned “Pretty Woman” into a timeless classic, enchanting audiences for decades. So, can you envision any other actor as Edward? It’s hard to imagine anyone other than Gere sweeping us off our feet in that role.