Julia Roberts Recalls Dark Original ‘Pretty Woman Ending’

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For Julia Roberts, Pretty Woman at first wasn’t very pretty. At least, not the ending.

Roberts spoke with fellow actress Patricia Arquette in a Variety interview about what almost once was for the 1990 movie, which co-starred Richard Gere. Arquette actually read for the leading role, and the movie was at first called 3,000.

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

Eventually, Roberts earned the part of the seemingly defeated Hollywood sex worker, but the company that first made the movie collapsed. It was saved by Disney — which Roberts found confusing at the time.

But it was Disney that may have cleaned up the ending. Initially, the final scenes had Roberts’ Vivian Ward being tossed from a car by a man, who “threw the money on top of her, as memory serves, and just drove away leaving her in some dirty alley,” Roberts said.

Julia Roberts Recalls Dark Original ‘Pretty Woman Ending’

The actual ending proved to be considerably more romantic than that.

As for Disney’s involvement, Roberts admitted she wasn’t sure what to think when she first heard about it.

“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?’ ” 

Either way, Roberts met with new director Garry Marshall and went over the reconfigured script.

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

She added that she would have never played the part as it was originally written for 3,000.

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

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