"I would walk down the street and women would say mean things to me," Jason Alexander said

By Eric Todisco
September 30, 2020 10:21 AM
Jason Alexander in Pretty Woman
| Credit: Courtesy Everett Collection

Jason Alexander's role on Pretty Woman has left some lasting impressions on fans over the years.

The Seinfeld alum, 61, recently opened up to Robin Bronk on the At Home With The Creative Coalition podcast about starring as attorney Philip Stuckey in the Julia Roberts and Richard Gere-led 1990 film.

″It was a unique situation, because when I got it, I fully understood that the director did not want me,″ Alexander said with a laugh. ″I was not what Garry Marshall wanted. I had auditioned for him, he was very sweet, and he basically said, 'You're too young, you're too baby-faced, you're too little.' There were other people he tried to get and I don't why they couldn't make a deal.″

But Diane Crittenden, the film's casting director, was instrumental in getting Alexander the role, he recalled.

″She was very high on me doing this role,″ he said. ″She kept bringing me up and bringing me up to the point where Garry said, 'If you say his name again I'm gonna fire you.' I got the part because they couldn't make a deal with the actor they wanted and they were desperate, the movie already started shooting and they didn't have this character."

Jason Alexander
| Credit: Morgan Lieberman/Getty

Alexander continued on to say that while starring in the box-office juggernaut was helpful for his career, he got a chilly reception from the audience about his role.

″It was a help as far as having a bigger career, it was an odd way to meet a national audience because I was known around the world as the a--hole that tried to rape Julia Roberts,″ he said.

″Women hated me,″ Alexander added. ″I would walk down the street and women would say mean things to me. I got punched many times, I got spit on by one woman. It was a rough year."

Pretty Woman tells the story of a sassy prostitute named Vivian (Roberts), whose chance encounter with ruthless businessman Edward (Richard Gere) leads to a love story neither expected.

The film was adapted into a stage musical that played for a year on Broadway from August 2018 to August 2019. Roberts attended a special performance of Pretty Woman: The Musical in 2018 to pay tribute to Marshall, who died in July 2016.