In this day in age, it's truly astounding to be reminded of the audacity behind some of Hollywood's biggest minds.
When news came out about Harriet Tubman finally getting a movie about her journey as a slave-freeing pioneer, people were excited to see how it would play out. There were many names in mind to play the powerful legendary woman who masterminded the Underground Railroad. However, one standout person who was an obvious choice was Julia Roberts. Yes, Pretty Woman Julia Roberts. And who could blame them? Who can portray a runaway slave better than a white person?
This is coming from Harriet screenwriter, Gregory Allen. The producer shared with Focus Features (which was re-published in the L.A. Times) that his work on the film began all the way back in 1994. As time went on to put a face to play the abolitionist, a Hollywood exec thought Julia would be perfect for the role. So how would this be pulled off? Simply because, "It was so long ago. No one is going to know the difference."
Could you imagine Julia signing on to play Harriet Tubman? That would've been an awkward explanation to future generations why the woman on the $20 bill doesn't look like the lady in the movie.