Released in 1990, Gary Marshall's "Pretty Woman" is undoubtedly one of the best romcoms of all time. In 2015, over 20 years after the film's premiere, the New York Daily News ranked Julia Robert and Richard Gere No.1 among the ten best rom-com couples Hollywood has ever seen.
And even though Roberts and Gere have both gone on to enjoy more success in acting, "Pretty Woman" remains an integral part of their Hollywood stories. However, despite its status as a classic, Roberts believes that "Pretty Woman's" eye-raising plot would not stand a chance in modern-day Hollywood. "I don't really think you could make that movie now, right? So many things you could poke a hole in, but I don't think it takes away from people being able to enjoy it," she said during an interview with The Guardian.
In an exclusive 2018 interview with US Weekly, Gere also touched on the film's premise, noting that it had a positive undertone. "In the end, that movie is about acceptance; it's about trust, it's about love. I think we're all looking for that – doesn't matter who we are," he said.
But while their on-screen chemistry might have been one for the books, Gere and Roberts were in fact years apart in age.
When "Pretty Woman" was released in March 1990, Julia Roberts was a young 22-year-old woman finding a spot for herself in Hollywood. In contrast, Richard Gere, already established within the movie industry, was, per Insider, 40 years at the time. However, despite the disparity in their ages and experience, Gere and Roberts were able to develop a good working relationship. "Richard was very kind because Julia was new...Richard was very comfortable and put Julia at ease," the movie's director Garry Marshall told HuffPost in 2012.
Unsurprisingly, Roberts and Gere's cordiality seeped into their roles, with the two delivering an impressive and palpable on-screen chemistry that is still talked about even decades later. "You see, you can fake anything in this business except chemistry, and when two people kiss, the audience knows if there's chemistry or not, and Richard and Julia had great chemistry," Marshall gushed of the pair.
But perhaps Gere getting along so well with Roberts was already a given, seeing that the "Notting Hill" star has since revealed that she convinced him to take up the role of Edward Lewis in the 1990 film. After failing to find possible fits for the role, Roberts and Marshall flew to New York, where they met with Gere. "I just said, 'You have to do this movie.' I kind of pleaded with him in a very real way," she recalled to Entertainment Weekly back in 2017.
After "Pretty Woman," Richard Gere and Julia Roberts teamed up again to appear in the 1999 rom-com "Runaway Bride." Only this time, it was Gere who did the convincing. "I love it. If you can get Julia, I'm in," Gere reportedly said upon reading the script(via the Los Angeles Times). After a call with Gere, Roberts agreed to do the movie which went on to gross over $300 million at the box office, per Box Office Mojo. Beyond being co-stars however, Gere and Roberts also found a friendship that has transcended time.
In 2019, following the birth of the birth of Gere's son Alexander — whom he shares with wife Alejandra Silva — a source close to the actor confirmed that Roberts was still in contact with the veteran actor. "Julia sent him tons of presents for the baby," the source told Closer Weekly. "Julia met Alejandra with Danny on one of their trips to NYC. Everyone got along swimmingly." As for whether we will ever see them back together on screen, only under the right circumstances. "Lightning doesn't always strike more than once. But if the right opportunity presented itself, they'd do it. It would be amazing to pair them up after all these years," an insider close to the pair told Closer Weekly.
Regardless though, Gere and Roberts will always be fond of each other. "Julia [Roberts] and I will always be connected," Gere gushed in a 2017 interview with The Guardian.