Though long-lasting relationships in Hollywood are rare, there are some celebrity friendships that have stood the test of time. These include Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez, Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire, and Cameron Diaz and Drew Barrymore. While some came up in the entertainment industry at around the same time, others met on set while filming a movie — and Julia Roberts and Richard Gere are among them.
The pair built up a solid friendship after starring in the 1990’s “Pretty Woman,” which tells the story of Vivian and Edward, a sex worker and a wealthy businessman, who meet and fall deeply in love all while struggling to bridge the gap between their very different worlds. The film was — and still is — a massive hit, as it’s safe to say Roberts and Gere made movie magic, which eventually led them to share the big screen again in “Runaway Bride” nearly a decade later.
Now, more than 30 years after “Pretty Woman,” their friendship is stronger than ever. In fact, Roberts posts birthday messages for Gere on her Instagram account and the actor revealed in a 2015 “Today” show interview that he still remembers how “mesmerized” he was by her the first time they met.
Keep scrolling to find out the truth about Roberts and Gere’s friendship, including whether or not there was anything romantic between them.
The two had electrifying on-screen chemistry
If you’ve watched their movies or have seen them do interviews together, then you know Julia Roberts and Richard Gere’s chemistry is undeniable. Even “Pretty Woman” director Gary Marshall could not help but comment on the pair’s powerful connection. He told the HuffPost in 2012, “You see, you can fake anything in this business except chemistry. When two people kiss, the audience knows if there’s chemistry or not, and Richard and Julia had great chemistry.”
He also opened up about the pair’s instant chemistry two years later on the “Today” show, admitting he saw the spark between them right away. Marshall said, “I saw the two of them at the end of the hall just looking at each other and right there I said, ‘Look at that chemistry. They don’t know each other.'”
However, despite their obvious on-screen connection, the two never dated in real life. Nevertheless, the actors have a strong friendship that has lasted for decades. “Julia and I will always be connected,” Gere told The Guardian in 2017. “Making ‘Pretty Woman’ was an experience we’ll never forget.”
Julia Roberts had to convince Richard Gere to be in Pretty Woman
During an interview with Entertainment Weekly Radio in 2017, Julia Roberts revealed she literally begged Richard Gere to be her co-star on “Pretty Woman” after he turned down the role several times. She and director Gary Marshall even flew to meet him in New York so she could convince him in person. “We go to his apartment … We talked to him. He was very nice,” she recalled. “Then, Gary said ‘Okay why don’t I let the two of you talk’ and he left.'”
The talented star explained that Gere is a “very serious actor and he had very specific thoughts about the movie and the part and what worked and what didn’t work for him.” She admitted that she “just nodded and smiled a lot and agreed with everything he said” before pleading with him “in a very real way.” Roberts continued, “I just said, ‘You have to do this movie. If you don’t do this movie and it falls apart and I lose this job, it would just be terrible.'”
After their conversation, all three of them went to dinner and Gere eventually agreed to star opposite of Roberts in “Pretty Woman.” The rest, as they say, is history and the two went on to make more than just an iconic movie … they found a real friendship.
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