Julia Roberts: From Disappointment to Iconic Rom-Com Star!

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Julia Roberts, the world-renowned actress, recently opened up about her rollercoaster journey with the iconic rom-com, Pretty Woman. In a surprising revelation, Roberts shared that she was initially “crushed” when the original version of the film got scrapped. This darker rendition, titled “$3,000,” portrayed the character of Vivian Ward as an addict with a heartbreaking ending. However, fate had a different plan in store, as Disney later picked up the project and transformed it into the heartwarming tale we now know.

A Disheartening Beginning

During an appearance on The Graham Norton Show, Julia Roberts expressed her initial pride in landing the role of Vivian in Pretty Woman. However, her excitement turned to disappointment when the production company responsible for the film folded, causing the movie to vanish into thin air. Roberts confessed, “I got that part in that movie and felt really proud, but when the production company folded and the film disappeared I was crushed.” Little did she know that destiny had other plans for her.

Disney’s Unlikely Transformation

Against all odds, Disney stepped in and took over the project. Many were skeptical about the renowned family-friendly company venturing into the realm of a gritty and dark drama. The transformation Disney brought to the table seemed highly unlikely. However, the unexpected collaboration proved to be a stroke of genius. Disney turned Pretty Woman into an enchanting romantic comedy that captured hearts worldwide.

Commercial Success and Broadway Adaptation

Despite initial hesitation from critics and fans alike, Pretty Woman became a massive commercial success. It grossed an impressive $463.4 million at the box office, establishing Julia Roberts as one of the most beloved actresses of her generation. The film’s popularity even led to a Broadway adaptation, which ran for a whole year at New York City’s Nederlander theater in 2018.

Julia’s Doubts and Disney’s Magic

In a candid interview with Variety in 2019, Julia Roberts admitted that she initially felt out of place in a movie like Pretty Woman. She questioned how Disney could adapt the gritty script into their signature style. Roberts confessed, “There was one producer that stayed with the script and then it went to Disney. And I went, ‘Went to Disney? Are they gonna animate it? How does this become a Disney movie?'” Little did she know that the fun and heartwarming tale that emerged would resonate with audiences worldwide.

The Transformation from “$3,000” to Pretty Woman

The original plan for Pretty Woman was far from the romantic comedy we all remember. In various interviews, including a conversation with Patricia Arquette for Actors on Actors, Julia Roberts revealed that the film was initially envisioned as a gritty and dark drama titled “3000.” The transformation to Pretty Woman brought about a significant change in tone and storyline, capturing the hearts of millions with its touching and feel-good plot.

An Amusing Anecdote: Barbara Marshall and the Hollywood Boulevard Adventure

Barbara Marshall, the widow of Garry Marshall, who directed Pretty Woman, shared a delightful and amusing anecdote about Julia Roberts’ dedication to the role. Marshall recalled how Roberts surprised everyone by recruiting two women from a clinic for a meeting. To the surprise of those involved, Roberts took them on a drive to Hollywood Boulevard. Amidst nervousness and worry, Marshall received a call from her husband, who exclaimed, “‘Your star just left with a group of girls, and I think they were heading to Hollywood Boulevard. I’m worried. What if she doesn’t come back?'” This incident exemplified Julia Roberts’ commitment to her craft and her ability to immerse herself in her character’s world.

Success Breeds Success: Runaway Bride and Career Milestones

Pretty Woman catapulted Julia Roberts into the realm of superstardom. The undeniable chemistry between Roberts and her co-star Richard Gere captivated audiences, leading to their reunion in the beloved 1999 film, Runaway Bride. Roberts’ remarkable journey from initial disappointment to becoming a central figure in one of the most cherished romantic comedies of all time marked a significant milestone in her career.

Julia Roberts’ portrayal of Vivian Ward remains etched in the memories of fans, solidifying her status as an icon in the world of romantic comedy. The journey of Pretty Woman serves as a reminder that even in the face of adversity, success can emerge and dreams can come true.

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