Julia Roberts’s life-changing role in Pretty Woman was almost played by a different actress! Diane Lane has revealed she was originally tipped to play the role of Vivian Ward in the film but was forced to turn it down due to "conflicting schedules". During an appearance on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, the 52-year-old confessed the role was highly popular and that "every actress in town" auditioned for it.
"Everybody in town went for that role. At that time - as I've said on other shows – it's true, it was a very different [film]," she explained. "It kind of got Disney-fied and it turned out to be a feel good movie. Originally, this crazy [woman] was kicked out of a rolling limo in the end because she was delusional that she thought this guy was in love with her. She was only hired for the weekend. And we had such compassion for her." She later teased: "I think that movie needs to get made. I want to direct it, let's make it happen."
The Hollywood film was originally pitched as a cautionary tale of drug use, but after Disney and director Gary Marshall came on board, the film became more light-hearted. Julia, who played Vivian, had to re-audition and luckily landed the part again before screen-testing with male actors to find her leading man. Other stars such as Al Pacino and Michelle Pfeiffer also went for the lead roles.
Julia Roberts played Vivian Ward in the 1990 classic Pretty Woman
Garry, who passed away last year, confessed the movie would of went in a completely different direction if he didn't cast Richard Gere and his leading lady Julia. He told Vanity Fair: "It would definitely have been a different movie if had it been Al Pacino and Michelle Pfeiffer. It might have been closer to the original script and maybe not have had a happy ending. But the chemistry between Julia and Richard, it is palpable on the screen, it was palpable in auditions. You can’t really see how it could end any other way, because they just light up with each other."