Julia Roberts reveals the dark, original ‘Pretty Woman’ ending

Julia Roberts has revealed just how dark the original ending was meant to be in the 1990 rom-com “Pretty Woman.” And it was very bleak.

The actress, now 51, spoke to actress Patricia Arquette in a Variety interview about the role as a high-class prostitute that catapulted Roberts into fame alongside Richard Gere in 1990.

Arquette also read for the leading part. The original screenplay was titled “3,000,”  and was written by then-struggling screenwriter J.F Lawton.

“That movie was really dark and the ending was really heavy,” Arquette recalled. “It really read like a dark, gritty art movie.”

Roberts remembered reading the original ending in the script, where a man tosses her character Vivian Ward out of the car, “threw the money on top of her, as memory serves, and just drove away leaving her in some dirty alley.”

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Richard Gere and Julia Roberts in "Pretty Woman." (Photo: GPN)

Roberts admitted she “had no business being in a movie like that.” But that dilemma was taken from the young actress. Days after getting the part, the original movie company folded. She was left without a job until Walt Disney saved the day.

“There was one producer that stayed with the script and then it went to Disney,” Roberts said. “And I went, ‘Went to Disney? Are they gonna animate it? How does this become a Disney movie?’ ” 

Garry Marshall, the new director, agreed to meet with Roberts, showing her the reconfigured script with a romantic ending called, “Pretty Woman.” 

Richard Gere and Julia Roberts in "Pretty Woman." (Photo: c)

“I think because he’s a great human being, he met with me because I had once had the job and he felt it would only be fair to at least meet me, since I had this job for three days and then lost it,” Roberts said.

Naturally, Roberts earned the part that was seemingly tailor-made for her.

“They changed the whole thing and it really became more something that’s in my wheelhouse than what it originally was,” Roberts said.

The actress said she would never play the original “3,000” part, even today.

“I couldn’t do it then, I couldn’t do it now,”  Roberts said. “Thank god it fell apart.”

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