Although Pretty Woman is one of the most iconic romantic comedies of all time, it turns out Richard Gere wasn't as convinced when he was offered the part of Edward Lewis in the film. Well, until he met Julia Roberts. This is one of the secrets the cast of Pretty Woman and director Garry Marshall revealed when they reunited on the Today show to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the classic film.
The problem was Gere didn't think there was enough of a part in Edward. And in fact, he turned it down a few times. "There was just nothing. The joke was, he was a suit! You could put a suit on a goat and put it out there and it would work!" Gere told Matt Lauer. "So, yeah, I didn't get it."
But that changed when Marshall brought Roberts to New York to meet with Gere. Roberts said Marshall did a quick, "Richard, Julia, Julia, Richard, I'll see yous later" and then promptly exited. Gere said he was so mesmerized (and who wouldn't be by a then early 20-something Roberts?) that he didn't even remember Marshall being there. "I just remember the girl." (Imagine if Gere had turned down the role—that would have been a "big mistake. Huge!")
Gere said that even though they were getting along great and were all "flirty-flirty," he was still on the fence. But when Marshall called to check in on the meeting, in a classic Hollywood move, Roberts took a Post-it, wrote "Please say yes," turned it around and pushed it towards Gere. He said it was so sweet that he immediately told Marshall, who was still on the phone, "Yes." And thus was born one of our favorite movie couples ever.
"That's what chemistry is," Marshall said, adding that their connection was obvious. Gere said, "Yeah, we loved each other immediately so it was a nice thing."
Roberts, Gere, and fellow castmembers Laura San Giacomo and Hector Elizondo also all admitted that despite their other work, this is still the film fans bring up first. Case in point: When Gere was on a missionary trip to Borneo, the residents called out to him: "Pretty Woman man! Pretty Woman man!"
This is the first time the cast members and director have reunited since 1990, and the second part of the interview airs tomorrow morning on Today. Watch the Pretty Woman cast talk about the film in Part 1 of the reunion by clicking on the video below.