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Julia Roberts says she 'had no business' being in 'Pretty Woman'

An earlier version of the script was definitely not her style.
/ Source: TODAY

It's hard to imagine anyone being cast as the vivacious Vivian in 1990 rom-com favorite "Pretty Woman" other than Julia Roberts. But she says in a new interview in Variety with Patricia Arquette that the script was totally wrong for her.

At least, the early version called "3,000" wasn't!

Image: Film and Television
Richard Gere and Julia Roberts were perfectly paired in "Pretty Woman."Shutterstock

"It read like a really gritty art movie," recalled Arquette, 51, in the interview, noting that she had auditioned for the role when it was darker. "The ending was really heavy."

"Threw her out of the car, threw the money on top of her, as memory serves, and just drove away, leaving her in some dirty alley," added Roberts. (We're guessing that's what Edward — ultimately played by Richard Gere — did in that early script, which sounds horrifying!)

"The Act" New York Premiere
Patricia Arquette at the premiere of Hulu's "The Act" on March 14 in New York City.Taylor Hill / FilmMagic

Roberts, 51, got the part but added, "I had no business being in a movie like that." Fortunately, for her at least, the production company behind it "folded over the weekend and by Monday, I didn't have a job."

"3,000" moved over to Disney and became "Pretty Woman," with late director Garry Marshall in charge. "Because he's a great human being, he felt it would only be fair to meet me, since I had this job for three days and lost it," said Roberts, who went on to win an Oscar in 2000 for "Erin Brockovich." And they changed the whole thing. And it became more something that is in my wheelhouse."

Even today, despite her tougher turn in Amazon's "Homecoming," Roberts still thinks the first version of the script would have been a bad choice for her.

"I also had a fantasy of recasting you in '3,000,' the original script," said Arquette. "You could even do it now."

"I couldn't do it then. I couldn't do it now," said Roberts. "Thank God it fell apart."

PRETTY WOMAN, Julia Roberts, 1990, (C) Buena Vista/courtesy Everett Collection, PRW 082, Photo by: Eve
Roberts did not really want to play the character in a darker take on "Pretty Woman."Everett Collection

And while she seemingly doesn't think of herself as being one for gritty dramas, Roberts is also not sentimental about being known as "America's Sweetheart."

"I am very unemotional about stuff like that," she said. "I don't feel that I have to live up to something. But I've never been a person that attracted musician energy, where people see a musician in the grocery store, and you go, 'Oh, my God.' I get this kind of energy like, 'You cut your hair. It still looks cute.'"