HOUSTON, July 5, 2013 — Gary W. Goldstein is the producer of many Hollywood hit films including, “Under Siege”, “The Mothman Prophecies”, and “Pretty Woman”.
The last time this reporter spoke with Gary W. Goldstein, he was promoting his Kickstarter campaign for his first book. The campaign was a great success as he more than doubled his goal. The book, described by Gary on the Kickstarter site, is a “…practical roadmap of every insider strategy I’ve learned on how to make it in Hollywood as a successful screenwriter.”
And who would know that roadmap better than a screenwriter who has navigated the system? His resume speaks for itself and during the interview, he discussed his vast film career that all started with, “Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death.”
“Three films hold a special place in my heart,” says Goldstein, “‘Avocado Jungle’ being one of them. I didn’t plan on making a film. The writers were on strike, and it was really my first child or first film by accident. But your first film is special even if it’s low budget. It was during that film that I realized I really wanted to be a producer.”
The follow up film for Goldstein would not only be the one to put him on the map, but would become one of the most iconic romantic comedies of all time, “Pretty Woman.” “‘Pretty Woman’ was my most enjoyable film as it was also my first studio film, and it was one of my favorite scripts that I’ve ever worked on.
“I found the right person in Julia Roberts. My friends Mark and Scott had just produced ‘Mystic Pizza’ and they had a screening for friends. When the movie ended, I told them that their cast was ridiculously good and I asked them, ‘Who is that girl? She is perfect for Vivian, a character in a film I’m working on.’ And then they introduced me to Julia Roberts.”
The premise of the film was controversial at the time as the heroine, Vivian, is a prostitute. “I was a little bit petrified at first. Feminism was at its peak at the time and I thought Gloria Steinem would eviscerate us. But to my delight the feminists were the first to really embrace it.
“I was a little hesitant because this film was so popular and being seen by all these young women and teenagers, and I thought maybe a prostitute isn’t the best role model. But the audience got it, and they understood it because Vivian is the moral superior in the movie.
“Vivian was teaching Edward [played by Richard Gere] life-lessons in the film. We don’t judge her on her lifestyle because her humanity is impeccable. I really enjoyed dong that film and to work with Gary Marshall for God’s sake! It doesn’t get better than him, creatively or as a human being.”
Julia Roberts earned herself a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress and was nominated for an Oscar in the same category, and the film was nominated for a flurry of awards. It’s hard to believe that 23 years have passed since its first release; “Pretty Woman” debuted in 1990 and took the world by storm. It grossed over $178 million in the U.S. and a worldwide total gross of over $463 million. It ran in theatres for six months and soared to become the highest grossing live action film in Disney’s history.
“‘Pretty Woman’ is the proverbial gift that keeps on giving. It’s one of the rare films that plays to every age, gender and culture, which speaks to their heart. People constantly come up to me to compliment the movie, and I’m so proud and blessed to be a part of it.”
To this day “Pretty Woman” remains one of the most talked about and viewed films in cinematic history, and future generations will continue to fall in love with it. Perhaps the character of Vivian said it best: “I’m gonna treat you so nice, you’re never gonna let me go.”
Carter Lee is an author, speaker, host, and producer. To follow all of his work visit his official website.
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