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How old is Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman? How exactly Julia Roberts persuaded Richard Gere to take on the role

September 30, 2022

Key Findings
Julia Roberts‘ Age when she starred in Pretty Woman
A difficult audition
Julia Roberts’ career took off early on.
Richard Gere repeatedly turned down the role.

American actress Julia Fiona Roberts was born on October 28, 1967. She is known for starring in films of various genres, from romantic comedies and dramas to thrillers and action films. She is one of the most successful actresses in Hollywood. Six of her films are among the top-grossing films of the year, and many of her films have grossed over $100 million worldwide. Her top-grossing films have grossed over $3.8 billion worldwide. She has won numerous awards including three Golden Globe Awards, an Academy Award and a British Academy Film Award.

Julia Roberts’ age when she starred in Pretty Woman

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Julia Roberts was only 21 when she was offered the lead role of Vivian Ward, a gorgeous escort in the 1990s classic Pretty Woman. Although she was a young actress with no experience, she bravely took on the role of a hooker without thinking about the consequences.

Luckily, the risk paid off, as it catapulted the budding star to popularity without facing any stigma or categorization in the industry. Not many actresses were willing to take such a big risk.

In fact, Roberts wasn’t exactly the producers’ first choice when it came to casting. On the other hand, Disney executives chose other, more well-known actresses, so she had a difficult audition and had to return for a second chance. She had to compete with legendary actresses like Meg Ryan and Michelle Pfeiffer.

Although she had acted in only a few films at the time, including Crime Story, Mystic Pizza and Steel Magnolias, Julia Roberts was the ideal choice for the role.

The role of Vivian was initially turned down by all the other actresses, but 21-year-old Julia Roberts, a relative unknown who had only starred in the surprise hit Mystic Pizza (1988) and the previously unreleased Steel Magnolias (1989), for which she starred was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress got the role.

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A difficult audition

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Roberts had to apply for the lead role in the film and went through two different auditions. Roberts had to fend off a plethora of A-list talent to get the job.

Meg Ryan was reportedly the first choice for the role of Vivian, but after she turned it down, the film’s director, Garry Marshall, reportedly reached out Mary Steenburgen and Diane Lane. Marshall’s reps reached out to Michelle Pfeiffer and Daryl Hannah after scheduling conflicts prevented the two actresses from accepting the role. Both reportedly declined again, this time because of the script’s tone, with Hannah complaining the film was demeaning to women.

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Julia Roberts’ career started early.

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How long did Julia Roberts stay in the background? Her first acting role was a bit role as a sexual assault survivor in a 1987 episode of the television series Crime Story, which served as her debut (via IMDb). It would be just another year before she made her big screen debut as Daisy in Mystic Pizza. The next year she made her debut in Steel Magnolias and then Pretty Woman. These two projects put Roberts in the spotlight and established herself as a gifted young actress capable of acting in both romantic comedy and drama.

Filming on Pretty Woman began on July 24, 1989 and wrapped on October 18, 1989, just over three months later. Roberts was only 22 when Pretty Woman was filmed, having been born on October 28, 1967. The actress was young enough to have such success and her performance in Pretty Woman is all the more astounding as she portrayed Richard Gere, who turned 41 during filming, just over 18 years her senior. so effortlessly embodied. The two played so well together that, despite their age difference, they got back together for the 1999 film Runaway Bride (and they’re also great friends off-screen).

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Richard Gere repeatedly turned down the role.

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Richard Gere, who played the male lead of business tycoon Edward, never wanted to be part of the project, as did the actresses, who saw the project as too risky for their careers.

Although director Garry Marshall insisted he was the ideal choice, he turned down the role several times. To persuade him to say yes, Roberts had to personally fly to New York.

After all, they played the leading role in a film as lovers. Their chemistry was so strong that they spontaneously created a series of scenes that easily fitted into the film’s plot.

Despite an age difference of more than 18 years, the two were reunited as lovers in the 1999 film Runaway Bride. The chemistry between them was just right. Today, Julia Roberts and Richard Gere are one of the most enduring TV couples.