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Arguably the most famous role of Julia Roberts’ career is Pretty Woman’s hooker with a heart of gold, Vivian Ward. A musical version of the 1990 rom-com, starring Samantha Barks (Les Misérables) as Vivian, opened on Broadway this past summer.

PRETTY WOMAN, Director Garry Marshall, Julia Roberts, 1990.
Credit: Everett Collection

The film’s director, Garry Marshall, who died in 2016, originally revealed the project to Roberts years ago over lunch at her house. Remembers Roberts, “He tells me, he’s going to do Pretty Woman on Broadway and I was like, ‘What?’ I was just giggling and waiting for the punchline. There was a lot of off color jokes that I made and we were just laughing.”

Garry Marshall Tribute performance of Pretty Woman : The Musical, New York, USA - 02 Aug 2018
Credit: Dave Allocca/Starpix/REX/Shutterstock

In August, Roberts, clad in a Laverne & Shirley T-shirt (Marshall created the TV series), attended a tribute performance to the director with his widow, Barbara. “It made me miss Garry more than I could have,” admits the actress, who also starred in Runaway Bride, Valentine’s Day, and Mother’s Day for the director.” I didn’t emotionally prepare myself because it seemed like such a separate odd thing and it really wasn’t. I was overjoyed for the cast because I think they did a really lovely job but I did leave there with such a bittersweet feeling in my heart. I missed Garry so much.”

For more on Julia Roberts, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly on stands Friday, or buy your choice of two covers online: Julia in blue or Julia in black and white. Don’t forget to subscribe for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.

Related content:

Pretty Woman
  • Movie
  • R
  • 119 minutes
  • Garry Marshall