‘Pretty Woman’: A Post-it from Julia Roberts got Richard Gere on board

That Vivian Ward can be very persuasive.

Julia Roberts, Richard Gere and the cast of “Pretty Woman” reunited for a Tuesday “Today” show spot, in which Roberts revealed how she used a Post-it note to persuade Gere to sign on for the film.

The main stars were joined by Hector Elizondo, Laura San Giacomo and director Garry Marshall for an interview with Matt Lauer, who wrangled them all into the same room for the first time in 25 years. (We’ll disregard Roberts, Gere and Marshall’s match-up in 1999’s “Runaway Bride.”)

A 21-year-old Roberts, who was still relatively unknown in 1990, was cast for the original iteration of “Pretty Woman,” a dark, cautionary tale called “3,000" that wasn’t at all like the Cinderella-style rom-com we’ve come to know and love. That price tag referred to how much a night with hooker Vivian Ward would cost, if that tells you anything.


“Richard’s character threw my character out of the car, threw the money on top of her and drove away and the credits rolled,” the actress said of that film’s intended ending. But the script changed when Disney and Marshall were brought in.

The future Oscar winner then played an integral role in coaxing Gere to be her leading man.

“Garry brought me there and he said, ‘Richard, Julia. Julia, Richard, I’ll see yas later,’ and he walked out,” Roberts said, recalling their first meeting at the actor’s office apartment.

“I was so mesmerized,” Gere said. “I don’t remember Garry. I just remember the girl.”

The scheming director left the two of them in a room to see if they had “chemistry.”

“We loved each other immediately, so it was a nice thing,” said Gere, now 65. “To be honest, I was still, I didn’t know if I was doing this movie yet. She’s across from my desk, we’re getting to know each other. We’re flirty-flirty, nice-nice and [Marshall] calls up and goes ‘How’s it going?’ And she’s across the desk and she takes a piece of paper -- Post-it -- and she’s writing something on it and she turns it around and she pushes it to me, and it said, ‘Please say yes!’ It was so sweet, and [I got on the phone and] ‘I just said yes.’”

And we’re so glad he did!

Twitter: @NardineSaad