How Old Is Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman? Exactly how Julia Roberts Persuaded Richard Gere to Accept the Part

how old is julia roberts in pretty woman

American actress Julia Fiona Roberts was born on October 28, 1967. She is renowned for playing the lead in movies of various genres, from romantic comedies and dramas to thrillers and action movies. She is one of Hollywood’s most bankable actors. Six of her movies have been rated among the highest-grossing films of their respective years, and many of her movies have made over $100 million worldwide. Over $3.8 billion has been made worldwide by her highest-grossing movies. She has won numerous honors, including three Golden Globe Awards, an Academy Award, and a British Academy Film Award.

Julia Roberts’ Age when She Starred in “Pretty Woman”

how old is julia roberts in pretty woman

When Julia Roberts was offered the major role of Vivian Ward, a stunning escort in the 1990s classic “Pretty Woman,” she was just 21 years old. The celebrity, despite being a young actress with no experience, bravely assumed the part of a hooker without thinking about the consequences.

Fortunately, the risk paid out, catapulting the budding star to popularity without subjecting her to stigma or typecasting in the business. Not many actresses were willing to take that big of a risk.

In actuality, when it came to casting, Roberts was not precisely the producers’ top pick. On the other hand, the Disney executives chose other, more well-known actresses, so she had a difficult audition and needed to go back for a second chance. She had to compete with legendary actresses like Meg Ryan and Michelle Pfeiffer.

Despite being in only a few films at the time, including “Crime Story,” “Mystic Pizza,” and “Steel Magnolias,” Julia Roberts was the ideal choice for the part.

The role of Vivian was initially turned down by all the other actresses, but 21-year-old Julia Roberts, a relative unknown with only the sleeper hit Mystic Pizza (1988) and the still-unreleased Steel Magnolias (1989), for which she would be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, won the part.

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A Difficult Audition

how old is julia roberts in pretty woman

Roberts had to compete for the lead role in the movie and had to go through two distinct audition processes. Roberts had to compete against a plethora of A-list talent in order to land the job.

Meg Ryan was reportedly the first choice for the character of Vivian, but after she declined, the director of the film, Garry Marshall, reportedly went to Mary Steenburgen and Diane Lane. Marshall’s representatives approached Michelle Pfeiffer and Daryl Hannah after scheduling conflicts prevented either actress from accepting the part. Both are thought to have declined again, this time due to the script’s tone, with Hannah complaining that the movie was “degrading to women.”

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Early On, Julia Roberts’ Career Took Off.

how old is julia roberts in pretty woman

Long did Julia Roberts remain in the background? Her first acting part was in a small role as a survivor of sexual assault in the 1987 episode of the television series “Crime Story,” which served as her first performance (via IMDb). It would only take her another year to get her big-screen debut as Daisy in “Mystic Pizza.” The next year saw the debut of “Steel Magnolias,” and then “Pretty Woman.” Roberts was thrust into the public eye by these back-to-back projects, establishing her as a gifted young actress who could handle both romantic comedies and dramas.

The “Pretty Woman” movie was filmed starting on July 24, 1989, and it was finished on October 18, 1989, a little over three months later. Roberts was only 22 years old when “Pretty Woman” was filmed because she was born on October 28th, 1967. The actress was so young to have achieved such success, and her acting prowess in “Pretty Woman” is all the more astounding given that she portrayed Richard Gere, who turned 41 during the production, making him just over 18 years her senior, so effortlessly. The two acted so well together that they reunited for the 1999 film “Runaway Bride” despite their age difference (and they have a great offscreen friendship, too).

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Richard Gere repeatedly declined the role.

how old is julia roberts in pretty woman

Richard Gere, who played business Tycoon Edward’s male lead, never wanted to be a part of the project, much like the actresses who believed it to be too risky for their careers.

In spite of the fact that director Garry Marshall insisted he was the ideal choice, he actually declined the part a number of times. To persuade him to say yes, Roberts had to personally fly to New York.

They ultimately starred in a movie as romantic interests. Their chemistry was so strong that they spontaneously created a number of scenes that were easily integrated into the plot of the film.

Despite having an age difference of more than 18 years, the two were reunited as love interests in the 1999 movie “Runaway Bride.” They had beautiful chemistry. Today, one of the most enduring TV pairings is Julia Roberts and Richard Gere.

Myra Harris
Myra is the Chief Editor at TheNewsPocket. Here at TheNewsPocket, she has been writing for a wide range of Entertainment niches. She spends most of her time interacting with a like-minded group of people on social media and contributing proactively to several online discussion forums and websites.