18 Secrets That EVERY ‘Pretty Woman’ Fan Should Know!

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When Pretty Woman first hit the silver screen in 1990, nobody had any idea what they were walking into. However, by the end of the two-hour runtime, fans all over the country had fallen in love with Edward and Vivian. Today, we are going to take a look back at one of the most famous Rom-Coms of the early 90s in an effort to reveal some hidden secrets. By the end of our time today, you will have learned the eighteen secrets that EVERY Pretty Woman fan should know!

This Iconic Scene Was Improvised 

As one of the most revered romantic comedies of all time, there are quite a few iconic sequences throughout the film. One of the best moments includes Edward presenting Vivian with a diamond necklace, only just before she reaches in — he snaps the box closed. This scene was entirely improvised, so the reaction that Julia shows is completely genuine!

This Gorgeous Necklace Was REAL

Speaking of necklaces, the diamond necklace that Vivian wears throughout the film is actually real. No, we aren’t kidding. The necklace was custom-made by Fred Joaillier, a French jeweler. Valued at a quarter of a million dollars, that necklace never traveled unless it was accompanied by a security team. A guard was positioned with the jewel at all times!

Julia Struggled With the Intimate Scenes

Even though Julia Roberts and Richard Gere were fast friends outside of the set, there were still struggles during filming. Julia specifically had issues filming all of her intimate sequences, frequently breaking down from anxiety. The team did everything possible to make Julia comfortable up to hiring a masseuse to standby for quick relaxation.

Richard Gere Actually Got Injured On Set

One of the most important scenes of the film includes Stuckey trying to assault Vivian. Edward walks in and saves Vivian after a short fight. While the combat was rehearsed before filming, Gere would still end up breaking a crown on his molar. Who says actors can’t be tough?

Vivian’s Iconic Red Jacket Was An Accident

Vivian’s ‘streetwalking’ dress is almost as memorable as the film itself. Equipped with a wig, a red jacket, a mini dress, and thigh-high boots, Vivian was an instant eye-catcher on screen. However, this outfit almost never came to be! According to the production team, they had to scramble to find a perfect jacket for Julia. A crew member ended up buying a jacket off of a passerby for about $30 in cash. 

Disney Expected the Film to Flop

The production story behind the film is almost as fascinating as what happened on screen. After changing hands, Pretty Woman would end up being purchased by the team at Disney. Not known for their romantic comedies, execs at Disney expected the film to fail. Instead, Pretty Woman would earn nearly $465 million at the box office.

Layers of Meaning in the Opera Sequence

One of our favorite visuals from the film includes Edward and Vivian watching the opera. This amazing sequence features a stage performance of Italian La Traviata, an opera about a man that falls in love with an unlikely companion, a streetwalking lady of the night. Nice little Easter egg for opera fans, right?

The Infamous Bathtub Prank

When Vivian finds out how much Edward is going to pay her, Vivian retreats underwater in a bathtub to conceal her excitement. During the filming of this scene, Richard Gere, Garry Marshall, and the rest of the production crew would sneak out of sight while Julia was still underwater. When Julia emerged, everyone was gone!

The Original Ending Was Bleak

Most Hollywood scripts undergo significant changes before they are adapted for the screen and Pretty Woman was no exception. While Pretty Woman features an optimistic ending about two burgeoning lovers, the original script was anything but hopeful. The original story followed two broken individuals as they traveled toward a depressing ending. We’re happy about the change!

Vivian’s Legendary Red Dress Barely Made It In the Film

When Vivian shows up to the opera in a stunning red dress, audiences everywhere couldn’t help but squeal with joy. As it turns out, this visually iconic red dress almost never came to be! Marilyn Vance-Straker was the costume designer on the film, and she had to fight several battles to get the dress in the film. The production team had been pulling for a black dress, but Marilyn would get her way.

Richard Gere Is ACTUALLY a Great Pianist

A character-defining sequence for Edward in the film features Richard Gere sat at a piano. While most production teams will bring in a stunt musician for musical sequences, that wasn’t needed for Pretty Woman. Richard Gere is actually a phenomenally talented pianist as well as a composer! Gere would pen the melody that was featured in the movie.

Julia Roberts Won Richard Gere Over Before Filming

At the time that Julia Roberts was cast in Pretty Woman, she was still a fledgling star. There were concerns that the production team would have trouble finding an A-Lister to star opposite Julia. This all changed when Richard Gere revealed his adoration for Julia Roberts after a chance meeting in New York. Their chemistry would carry over to the film in an undeniable way!

A Body Double Was Used For Marketing

Body doubles are incredibly common in both film and print marketing. For Pretty Woman‘s marketing campaign, a body double was brought in for the posters. The post-production crew would then Photoshop Julia’s face over the other performer. We’re not sure why Julia needed a body double, she looked amazing!

Julia Roberts Was a Terrible Driver

When Julia Roberts was cast in Pretty Woman, she was still just 21. So we can forgive her for hitting the gas a little extra while filming the driving scenes in Pretty Woman. Roberts called driving around Hollywood in classic cars one of her favorite things about the film. According to Garry Marshall, Roberts was always speeding ahead of the camera crew!

Julia Roberts Was NOT Expected to Win a Golden Globe

It is very rare that the leading performer in a romantic comedy will win award recognition. When Julia Roberts was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy, fans went wild. Roberts would end up beating Mia Farrow, Demi Moore, Meryl Streep, and Andie MacDowell on the way to her Golden Globe win. 

Vow to Never Make a Sequel

Despite the overwhelming success of Pretty Woman and the popularity of its stars, the entire team has vowed to avoid making a sequel. Garry Marshall, Richard Gere, and Julia Roberts have all agreed that they won’t do a sequel without the Garry Marshall. As Marshall passed away in 2016, we doubt a sequel will ever happen.

Julia Struggled With Laughing Scenes

Despite being one of the most naturally gifted comedic performers of her generation, Julia Roberts really struggled to laugh as Vivian while filming Pretty Woman. One of her toughest scenes in the entire film was simply Vivian watching an episode of I Love Lucy. In fact, Garry Marshall had to stand just off-camera to tickle Julia until she actually laughed!

This Superstar Was Almost Cast as Vivian

We can’t imagine anyone but Julia Roberts in the role of Vivian. Having said that, hit films like Pretty Woman almost always have a history of ‘what if casting’. For Pretty Woman, the role of Vivian was almost given to Molly Ringwald! Ringwald would immediately pass on the role as she felt like it was too risqué for her resume.


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