It’s hard to think of Julia Roberts movies and not think of Pretty Woman. Roberts has played plenty of memorable characters over the years but the role of Vivian Ward in the 1990 Disney film is one of her most iconic.
At the beginning of the movie, Roberts dons a short blonde wig when she meets businessman Edward Lewis (Richard Gere). The next morning, Vivian reveals her long red locks. However, the red shade is not Roberts’ natural hair color and after filming started she required an emergency dye job because of what happened during one of Pretty Woman‘s most famous scenes.
Julia Roberts wasn’t who the studio had in mind to play Vivian
Roberts wasn’t who the studio had in mind to play Vivian. The part was offered to Molly Ringwald and Meg Ryan first. Neither signed on and after Roberts auditioned, she got it. However, she lost the role at one point.
“I get the part, the studio that had it–this small movie company–folded over the weekend, and by Monday I didn’t have a job,” the actor recalled in an interview with Variety. “So, the script, there was one producer that stayed with the script, and then it went to Disney. And I thought, ‘Went to Disney? Are they gonna animate it?’ Like, how does this become a Disney movie?”
The film was initially called $3,000 and had a much darker ending but when Disney took on the project the script was reworked. Then, after auditioning for the second time the role was Roberts’.
Roberts revealed that her real hair color isn’t red
Roberts has rocked plenty of different hairstyles and colors throughout her career. She had curly red hair when she became America’s Sweetheart in Pretty Woman. She was also a redhead in some of her other popular roles including as Julianne Potter in My Best Friend’s Wedding.
But during an interview on Late Night with David Letterman back in 1989, Roberts told the show host that her real hair color is blonde.
“My hair is naturally blond — kind of a dark blond,” she said while explaining that she had to dye it for the film Mystic Pizza.
It was dyed after she sang a Prince tune in the bathtub
The actor dyed her hair red again for Pretty Woman but an issue occurred while Roberts was shooting the scene in which she sings Prince’s hit “Kiss” in the bathtub.
According to Collider, a certain detergent was used to get so many bubbles in the bathwater. That detergent was so strong that it stripped the auburn color out of Roberts’ hair. This required crew members to do a late-night emergency dying session in order to get the color back to red for the duration of filming.