In honor of the film’s 25th anniversary, the cast and crew — including Roberts, Richard Gere, Hector Elizondo and Laura San Giacomo, and director Garry Marshall — reunited for a pre-taped segment that aired on Tuesday’s Today to talk about making the legendary rom-com, and revealed that its central couple almost looked very different.
Roberts signed onto the project back when it was supposed to be a dark, gritty film about drug addiction called 3000. However, when Marshall came on board and the script was rewritten as the romance we all know and love, Roberts wasn’t considered well-known enough to carry such a huge film. After the actress failed to dazzle Marshall on their first meeting, he dropped her from the film… for a day or two, until he quickly realized the talent he had in front of him.
Now that Pretty Woman had its leading lady, it was time to search for a romantic hero to fill out “the suit.” Gere had been offered the role of Richard “a few times,” but turned it down over and over again, thinking there wasn’t anything to the character. All it took to change his mind, though, was one meeting with his future co-star.
“We loved each other immediately. It was a nice thing. But to be honest, I didn’t know if I was doing this movie yet,” Gere said.
Still, Roberts had one last trick up her sleeve to keep Gere from getting away. In the middle of the pair’s conversation, the Oscar winner picked up a Post-It Note, and wrote Gere a message that changed the course of cinema history forever.
“She turns it around and she pushes it to me and it said, ‘Please say yes.'” Gere revealed. “It was so sweet, and after that, it was, ‘I just said yes.'”
And just like that, a love story for the ages was born. Who knew office supplies could be so romantic?
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