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Why Molly Ringwald Rejected Pretty Woman Role—That Later Went to Julia Roberts

More than 30 years ago,  Molly Ringwald made a decision that many aspiring actors would consider a big mistake. Huge.

The Breakfast Club actress recalls rejecting an opportunity to possibly star in Pretty Woman, the 1990 movie that ultimately featured  Julia Roberts as a prostitute with a heart of gold who falls in love with her client, a businessman played by Richard Gere. The film became one of the most popular rom-coms of all time and made Roberts one of the most famous actresses in the world.

However, Ringwald does not appear to have any regrets about her decision. "Julia Roberts was wonderful in it, but I didn't really like the story," the 55-year-old told The Guardian newspaper in an April 24 interview. "Even then, I felt like there was something icky about it."

Ringwald has spoken about passing up the chance to star in Pretty Woman before. "I think I saw an early draft and it was called $3,000," she said in a Reddit AMA session in 2012. "I don't specifically remember turning it down."

In 2015, Roberts recalled on NBC's Todayhow Pretty Woman was originally a film about drug abuse called 3,000, a reference to "how much money she got paid," referring to her character, Vivian Ward.

"The script was okay but I gotta say, Julia Roberts is what makes that movie," Ringwald told The Guardian. "It was her part. Every actor hopes for a part that lets them shine like that."

Ringwald, who rose to fame in the '80s as a member of the Brat Pack of young adult actors, also recalled in her interview with The Guardian that she got turned down for parts in two other films of the era—The Silence of the Lambs, featuring Jodie Foster in the lead female role opposite Anthony Hopkins, and Working Girl, which starred Melanie Griffith as a young woman trying to climb the corporate ladder.

"I didn't really feel like darker roles were available to me. The ones that I wanted to do, I didn't get," she said. "I was too young for certain roles. I was at this weird in-between stage."

Ringwald went on to star in The Secret Life of the American Teenager and has played the recurring role of Mary Andrews on Riverdale since the series' 2017 debut.

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