Molly Ringwald Says She Turned Down ‘Pretty Woman’ Because She Found The Storyline ‘Icky’

Molly Ringwald has been critical of her own movies. For instance, she won’t watch her John Hughes movies with her young daughter because of their racist jokes and homophobia. (“On the other hand,” she said, “they’re also about people that felt like outsiders.”) But she’s also critical of other movies from around that era. For instance, Pretty Woman? That’s a movie she turned down because of its “icky” storyline.

In a new profile by The Guardian, the ’80s icon reflected upon her post-Hughes career, which never quite took off, in part because Hollywood had a narrow idea of who she was and what she could do.

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

She said she lost out on such big movies as Working Girl and The Silence of the Lambs. Pretty Woman she rejected outright.

“Julia Roberts was wonderful in it, but I didn’t really like the story,” she said. “Even then, I felt like there was something icky about it.”

Ringwald didn’t go into detail about what she found “icky,” but it’s not hard to imagine what turned her off about a story of a prostitute who becomes the beck-and-call lady friend of a tyrannical businessman (Richard Gere). The movie has always had its share of critics, though on a recent episode of her podcast You Must Remember This, film historian Karina Longworth defended it at length, while acknowledging some of the aspects that make that tricky to do. But try to imagine an alternate timeline in which it was Ringwald, not Julia Roberts, who starred in the third biggest moneymaker of 1990.

(Via The Guardian)