Richard Gere has been hanging out in England since his visit here for ADIFF a couple of weeks ago, and over the weekend he made an appearance on The Jonathan Ross Show. Thankfully nobody sang 'Up Where we Belong' at him, but Ross did manage to find out why Gere almost didn't go for one of his most iconic roles.
The actor was already a huge star in Hollywood with An Officer and a Gentleman and many more flicks under his belt. So when he was approached for Pretty Woman, he didn't initially see the appeal in the role, describing Edward as just 'a suit', adding how he "didn't get it."
In fairness we're still not sure how the story of a wealthy businessman and a prostitute became such a classic rom-com, but here we all are.
There was one person who changed Gere's mind however and that was Julia Roberts, who was relatively unknown before Pretty Woman (although was in Mystic Pizza, many of you may remember.)
The director Garry Marshall arranged a meet up for the two actors, with Gere saying; "She [Julia] came to my office, and obviously she's an extraordinary person. As soon as she walked in, it was like a light bulb went off and the sun was on her...she's lit from inside. She's incredible."
Garry then called Gere to see how they were getting on and while on the phone, Julia grabbed a pen and paper and wrote "Please say yes" on it... and sure the rest is history.
It's better in his own words though...