Molly Ringwald Passed on Pretty Woman Because Julia Roberts’ Role ‘Was Icky’

Actress Molly Ringwald said she turned down the iconic Pretty Woman role that catapulted Julia Roberts to stardom.

Why did Molly Ringwald turn down Pretty Woman?

Speaking to The Guardian, Ringwald explained why she passed on the lead role in the 1990 romantic comedy. According to the actress, the story just didn’t speak to her, saying that there was something “icky” about it.

“Julia Roberts was wonderful in it, but I didn’t really like the story,” Ringwald said. “Even then, I felt like there was something icky about it.”

Of course, Pretty Woman would become one of the most successful romantic comedies of all time. The film grossed $463.4 million worldwide and at the time of its release, was the fourth highest-grossing film of all time, behind only ET the Extra-Terrestrial, Star Wars, and Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade.

The film followed the story of Vivian Ward (Roberts), a sex worker in Los Angeles hired by Edward Lewis (Richard Gere) to escort him to several business and social functions. The pair’s relationship develops throughout her week-long stay with him, and eventually blossoms into romance.

This isn’t the first time Ringwald has opened up about turning down a role in the film. In a Reddit AMA in 2012, Ringwald also mentioned it, noting that the initial script for the film (which was titled $3,000) was something she saw. Ringwald also praised Roberts in the film, saying she is what makes the movie.

“I think I saw an early draft and it was called $3,000. I don’t specifically remember turning it down,” she wrote. “The script was okay but I gotta say, Julia Roberts is what makes that movie. It was her part. Every actor hopes for apart that lets them shine like that.”