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Film

The prank that 'Pretty Woman' director played on Julia Roberts

Julia Roberts has delivered many iconic performances throughout her career, including wildly popular gems such as My Best Friend’s Wedding and Erin Brockovich. However, the film that properly introduced her to the frameworks of pop culture was none other than the definitive American rom-com Pretty Woman.

Roberts stole the show by starring as Vivian, a sex worker on the streets of Hollywood whose life gets turned around when she encounters Edward – a rich business executive (played by Richard Gere). Taking an intense liking to her, Edward connects with Vivian while also supervising her ideological incorporation into elite social circles.

Over the years, many critics and audience members have interpreted in various fascinating ways. While many still see it as the charming American commentary on class barriers and love, others have identified Pretty Woman as a postmodern exploration of the the relationship between the projection of societal images and individual identities as well as the complex machinations of capital and value.

Pretty Woman was actually supposed to be a very dark cautionary tale but an alteration was suggested once the production team realised the potential of the chemistry between Gere and Roberts. “[Edward] threw her [Vivian] 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 recalled. “I had no business being in a movie like that.”

While filming one of the most iconic scenes of Pretty Woman, the director and the production crew actually decided to pull a prank on Roberts. This happened during the famous bathtub scene involving Vivian who indulges in her own happy singing session when Edward enters the bathroom to inform her of the amount he is willing to pay her which delights her.

Due to her excitement, Vivian actually dunks her head underwater which is now referred to as a charming flourish that suited Roberts’ character. However, the team decided to pull a fast one on the actress by actually leaving the room while Roberts was underwater. When she surfaced again, there was nobody around.

Watch the iconic scene from Pretty Woman below.