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Julia Roberts Was Paid Much Less than Richard Gere for ‘Pretty Woman,’ Here’s Why

‘Pretty Woman’ is, hands down, one of the most iconic and classic romantic movies ever made. It starred no less than the legendary actress Julia Roberts as Vivian and Richard Gere as Edward.

The 1990 film was nothing but a success at the Box Office, thrusting its stars to greater heights of stardom. One would think that Julia got one of the highest pay among the stars because she took the lead role, but her salary was millions lower than that of Richard.

Julia Roberts’ Role in ‘Pretty Woman’

This came as a shocker to most people who thought that Julia delivered lines more than her onscreen partner. In the film, Edward hired Vivian to attend various business seminars and events with him as his date.

Touchstone Pictures — Julia and Richard played Vivian and Edward in the film

It was just supposed to be a business transaction between the two, but they ended up developing feelings for each other. Vivian was an adult worker, and although the intricacies of the industry she’s in weren’t discussed, the film shed light on classism.

It also taught people that nobody should judge a person by their looks or appearance and jobs because it’s not the whole story. It remains one of the most beloved romantic movies of all time, perhaps due to the unquestionable chemistry between the actors.


Despite being the lead star of ‘Pretty Woman,’ Julia surprisingly earned less than Richard, much to the fans’ dismay. She only pocketed $300,000 for the role while he got millions of dollars.

The disparity is shocking, to say the least. However, it is worth noting that Julia was just a blossoming star at the time, while Richard was already an established actor.

Denis Makarenko / Shutterstock — Richard was already an established actor at the time

It is usual for rising stars to earn less than a well-known celebrity because they have yet to cement their place in Hollywood. As with ‘Pretty Woman,’ Julia got a much lower pay than Richard even though they got starring roles.

Julia Roberts’ Career

Plus, it’s not like the film wasn’t instrumental in shooting her to unimaginable stardom. It also helped that her parents were actors, but did you know that she didn’t plan to pursue this path?

Denis Makarenko / Shutterstock — Julia went on to become one of the most iconic stars

Eventually, Julia did dip her toes into acting and excelled at it. She may have only earned $300,000 for her ‘Pretty Woman’ stint, but she went on to earn millions in other projects. In the ‘Runaway Bride,’ she got a whopping $17 million.

As of writing, Julia has an estimated net worth of $250 million.

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