Julia Roberts has revealed that filming sex scenes in Hollywood isn’t as easy as it appears.
In fact, she stated that she got so nervous before filming scenes for one particular movie, that she broke out in hives.
That movie was Pretty Woman, where Roberts played lovable prostitute Vivian, starring alongside Richard Gere’s wealthy businessman Edward.
Edward picks up Vivian one night and decides to hire her to be his escort to his many work events. However, despite their differences, the two eventually fall in love.
The film features many intimate scenes between Roberts and Gere. However, while there may have been chemistry on screen, it was apparently a different story behind the scenes.
She would get so nervous before filming their sex scenes that she would break out in hives. Allegedly, “it got to the point where the crew started feeling more nervous for her than the other way around.”
She also had a vein in her forehead that would spontaneously pop when she was stressed. To fix it, Gere and director Garry Marshall would massage her head until the vein disappeared.
While playing Vivian was a breakthrough for Roberts, many actresses had already turned down the role.
Kill Bill star Darryl Hannah said that she was happy she hadn’t taken the part, calling it “degrading for the whole of womankind”.
“One of the things I’m most proud of is refusing to take Julia’s role,” she said. “Every time I see it I like it less and less. They sold it as a romantic fairytale when in fact it’s a story about a prostitute who becomes a lady by being kept by a rich and powerful man.”
Meg Ryan and Michelle Pfeiffer also turned down the part.
It’s hard enough picturing someone else in the role as Vivian, but the film also almost had a much darker ending.
Instead of the classic romantic final scene, Pretty Woman was originally supposed to end with Gere’s character abandoning Vivian in an alley.
“[He] 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,” Roberts revealed in an interview with Patricia Arquette for Variety.
The film, which was originally titled $3,000 ended up folding due to the production company shutting down.
Garry Marshall became director of the project, and changed it into the romantic comedy classic we all know and love.
“I had no business being in a movie like that,” Roberts says of the initial role. However, she met with Marshall anyway.
“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,” she said. “And they changed the whole thing. And it became more something that is in my wheelhouse.”