Today we reveal an important piece of jewelry trivia from one of the most romantic and memorable scenes in movie history.
Legendary director Garry Marshall dished to ET’s Nancy O’Dell on Tuesday that the iconic scene in Pretty Woman where Richard Gere snaps a jewelry box on Julia Roberts’ fingers – evoking one of the most spontaneously awkward but endearing laughs ever filmed – was originally staged as a practical joke intended for the film’s gag reel.
Many critics agree that this was the very moment the world fell in love with Roberts.
Marshall explained why he and Richard Gere wanted to prank the young actress. According to Marshall, the 23-year-old Roberts would sometimes show up to the set a bit sleepy after a night of partying. “I said, ‘Richard, you gotta wake her up a little, so when she reaches for the box, slam it.’ It was a soft box. I would never hurt her.”
According to Marshall, it wasn’t until the last moment of editing that they decided to use the scene. “We put it in… and it became like the trademark of the movie,” said Marshall. Pretty Woman launched Roberts’ stellar career and the 1990 romantic comedy went on to gross $463.4 million.
According to movie trivia sites, the ruby-and-diamond necklace that Roberts wears in the scene and Gere tells her is worth a quarter million dollars, was genuine and actually did cost that much. While filming, an armed security guard hired by the jewelry store that provided the necklace for the film was constantly standing behind the director.