Growing up as a kid in the 90s, everyone was always talking about Pretty Woman — and with good reason. It's the movie that made Julia Roberts a huge star and had a killer awesome soundtrack. But there was one thing that soured it for some folks: Roberts used a body double on the famous poster and in the movie. And now with Pretty Woman turning 25, it's time to remember that it's not Roberts on the poster in those thigh-high boots leaning next to co-star Richard Gere — it's actually Donna Scoggins' legs. In the film, Roberts' body close-ups are really body double Shelley Michelle's body.
And apparently that's also not Richard Gere's actual body (or hair — his is gray in the movie) on the poster. This photoshopping usually occurs because it's hard to get both actors back together for a photoshoot once a movie has wrapped. As for the doubling in the film itself, a segment producer for the show Hard Copy noticed Roberts' body close-ups looked different and soon the studio admitted that Michelle was the double.
Body doubles are usually used the director wants to emphasize a certain feature. "Usually they'll put out a call for measurements," Michelle told the New York Times in 1992. "But a lot of times they're looking for great legs or something like that." Michelle actually calls herself the "Most Famous Body Double," having doubled for actresses like Kim Basinger in Final Analysis and Barbara Streisand in The Prince of Tides.
It's not very feminist at all for Hollywood to keep up this cinematic airbrushing, but actually, a lot of actresses prefer to use body doubles for revealing scenes and it's super common. Here are some actresses (and actors) who have admitted to using one.
The 29-year-old British actress has admitted to often using a butt double. She first requested one for the 2005 movie Domino. "I have this policy in films where I say, 'You can have the top half but you can’t have the bottom half,' and it kind of works quite well," she said. "And there was this scene in Domino where I was meant to do a bit of a strip tease and a dance with a thong on. A sexy thong dance, and I was just like, 'It’s not going to happen.' And so I said, 'Could you get me a bottom please?'"
Knightley also used a butt double in 2005's Pride and Prejudice.
The 33-year-old actress made headlines recently because her nude shower scene in the 2010 film Machete was actually filmed by Alba with her underwear on — and then it was digitally removed in post-production to make her look naked. “Jessica has been steadfast in her resolve not to appear nude in films from the beginning of her career," Alba's publicist told Entertainment Weekly. "The decision to digitally remove the underwear from the shower scene in Machete was one she and Robert Rodriguez made together, which would serve his vision for the film, as well as honor her personal convictions regarding nudity.”
I'm glad Alba and Rodriguez filmed the scene the way they were comfortable and didn't let any naysayers stop them. Alba has also used a body double in The Love Guru and The Sleeping Dictionary.
Men Use Doubles, Too
The other gender totally uses body doubles as well, especially for their nether regions. Owen Wilson used a butt double in You, Me, and Dupree, while Emile Hirsch used a full body double in 2004's The Girl Next Door when his character runs down the street naked. Aiden Quinn also used one in 1995's The Haunted.
"The director made that decision not to use my butt, I don't know how to interpret that," Wilson said. Perhaps some butts are just too great for the screen?
Images: Getty Images (3)