Julia Roberts Used a Post-It Note To Convince This Actor To Be Her Co-Star in Her Most Iconic Movie

It’s hard to imagine Pretty Woman starring anyone other than Richard Gere and Julia Roberts but the actors were reportedly not the only stars in the running for the roles of the lovable Vivian Ward and the stoic Edward Lewis in the 1990 romantic comedy. At the time, Roberts was relatively unknown but was cast in the movie anyway. Gere, in particular, took some convincing to take on the role as he revealed himself while appearing on the Today show.

The Primal Fear actor originally didn’t want the role because he felt like his character was “just a suit.” Roberts and the movie’s director, Garry Marshall, were so set on casting Gere that they flew to New York to pay Gere a visit at his apartment where Roberts won him over with a simple gesture. “She takes a piece of paper, a Post-it. She’s writing something and turns it around and pushes it toward me and it said, ‘Please say yes.’ It was so sweet and I said, ‘I just said yes,’” the actor shared.

Roberts had a similar account of her yearning to have Gere play the role. “We couldn’t find anybody that we wanted,” Roberts told Entertainment Weekly, “Comedians just wanted to play the part … and it didn’t kind of work.” Roberts recalled going to Gere’s apartment with Marshall where the director told the actors to talk alone about the role. She shared that she begged Gere, “You have to do this movie. If you don’t do this movie, it falls apart and I lose this job. It’d just be terrible!” Luckily, Gere obliged and now we have the iconic movie we all know and love today. The two later teamed up to appear in Runaway Bride in 1999.

Also, another fun fact is that Pretty Woman was originally meant to be a much darker art film with a not-so-happy ending. In a shared interview with Variety, Patricia Arquette and Julia Roberts reflected on auditioning for 3,000 — the name of the original script. Arquette recalled: “Most people don’t know that ‘3,000’ was the original Pretty Woman script. And the ending was really heavy.” Roberts explains that in the original ending, the male lead, “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.” Fortunately, the script ended up at Disney and a much more light-hearted angle was pursued.

Before you go, click here to see our favorite movies and TV shows about imperfect, complicated women. 

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