HomeAmerican EntertainmentBurt Reynolds Regretted Passing on This Romantic-Comedy

Burt Reynolds Regretted Passing on This Romantic-Comedy

by Megan Molseed
(Photo by Ron Eisenberg/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Longtime movie star Burt Reynolds certainly reached icon status during his prolific Hollywood career. The Oscar-nominated actor became a sort of embodiment of masculinity during the 1970s, earning Reynolds sex-symbol status for a few decades. The longtime actor made his name in a variety of classic films that have changed the landscape of film, even to this day. Some of these films include Smokey and the Bandit; the Cannon Ball Run films; Deliverance and many, many more.

However, while Reynolds is certainly known for some iconic Hollywood roles, the movie star is also famous for roles he didn’t play throughout his career. Burt Reynolds is known for passing up roles in a few of the most well-known movie franchises, Star Wars; James Bond; and even The Godfather trilogy. But, there is another Hollywood blockbuster film classic on which Burt Reynolds made the decision to pass up a starring role. This time, it wasn’t an action film Instead it is one of the most iconic romantic comedy films, Pretty Woman.

Burt Reynolds Passed Up One Iconic Leading Man Role

During a discussion with talk show host Andy Cohen on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, Reynolds discusses some of the iconic Hollywood films he is rumored to have turned down. Sure, the longtime actor’s career is the stuff of legends. But, could you imagine how much a role in Star Wars, a turn as James Bond; or even a mobster role in one of The Godfather films would have bolstered Burt Reynolds’ already impressive filmography?

During the discussion, Reynolds discusses how he passed on playing the role of Edward Lewis on Pretty Woman. Edward Lewis was, of course, the love interest of Julia Roberts’ Pretty Woman character, Vivian Ward. Instead, the role within the 1990 blockbuster film went to Richard Gere. During the discussion, Burt Reynolds was fairly upfront with his regrets regarding the iconic romantic comedy. When asked why he originally decided to turn down the popular role, Burt Reynolds gives a short but distinct answer. “Because I’m an idiot,” the actor jokes.

Of course, it is hard to imagine Pretty Woman without Richard Gere. The chemistry between Julia Roberts and Gere in the iconic 1990 film is something that can’t be made up. However, it would be interesting to imagine Burt Reynolds in the role. However, while Burt Reynolds may have turned down a role in the famous 1990 film; the movie legend did take on another prolific film role just a few years later when he portrayed Jack Horner in the 1997 Mark Wahlberg vehicle, Boogie Nights.