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Why Kit De Luca From Pretty Woman Looks So Familiar

In the classic romantic comedy Pretty Woman, Richard Gere plays a wealthy businessman in need of a date for some important social events. He hires a sex worker named Vivian, played by Julia Roberts, to fill that role. Over the course of the film they fall for one another, signified by a kiss that's among the most paused in film history. While a film with such a premise would be pretty unlikely to be made today (and very unlikely to happen in real life), it was a hit at the time of its 1990 release. Julia Roberts ended up becoming a Hollywood household name, in large part due to the popularity of the film. 

Among its supporting cast is Laura San Giacomo, who plays Kit De Luca, Vivian's roommate and sex work mentor. As is typical in many romantic comedies, San Giacomo's supporting role is largely comedic.

San Giacomo's acting career, however, has spanned decades and genres alike. So if San Giacomo ever looked familiar in her turn as Kit De Luca in Pretty Woman, it could have been from a 1980s thriller, or a 2010s TV drama. The following are some of San Giacomo's most recognizable performances from both before and after her classic role in Pretty Woman.

San Giacomo got her start in Sex, Lies, and Videotape

Laura San Giacomo's first proper film role (following one minor, uncredited performance) was in director Steven Soderbergh's debut feature Sex, Lies, and Videotape. At the heart of its story are various extramarital affairs, in one of which the character played by San Giacomo is implicated. The film's primary cast is comprised of Peter Gallagher as a lawyer named John, Andie MacDowell as his wife Ann, and James Spader as an old friend of his named Graham. San Giacomo plays Ann's sister, named Cynthia.

Central to the film's storyline is a moment in which Ann cheats on John with Graham. Prior to that moment, it's revealed that John has serially been cheating on Ann with Cynthia. She appears throughout the film as a sort of sexually liberated foil, not prone to the same sort of relationship drama that plagues the rest of its cast.

Sex, Lies, and Videotape was a major critical success that helped kickstart Soderbergh's career. Andie MacDowell had acted in few roles prior, and went on to a successful film career herself. San Giacomo too is among those whose Hollywood career more-or-less originated in the success of Sex, Lies, and Videotape. Perhaps uncoincidentally, Soderbergh, MacDowell and Giacomo were all nominated for Golden Globe awards for their involvement in the film.

Laura San Giacomo played Nadine Cross in the 1994 adaptation of The Stand

The Stand is a story of two competing groups of survivors in a post-pandemic apocalypse, which originated in a novel by Stephen King first released in 1978. Most recently, the book was adapted into a nine episode miniseries released on CBS All Access. In between the book's initial release and the new TV series, however, was a four-episode miniseries that originally aired on ABC in 1994. This version's cast also included a number of marquee names, like Gary Sinise, Molly Ringwald, Miguel Ferrer and Rob Lowe, and among them was Laura San Giacomo as the one-time schoolteacher Nadine Cross. Throughout The Stand in all its adaptations, various surviving humans gravitate toward either America's good group of survivors, led by Mother Abigail, and the evil ones, led by Randall Flagg. Nadine starts out travelling among the good guys, but all the while is plagued by visions of Randall Flagg, foreshadowing a dark turn for the character.

Despite the numerous recognizable names in its cast, The Stand garnered a middling reception at the time of its 1994 release. The 2020 version of The Stand, in which Amber Heard plays Nadine Cross, has fared even worse. Its critical score on Rotten Tomatoes sits at a 58% and its audience score a 24%. However, while neither adaptation quite lived up to its source material, its 1994 adaptation featuring Laura San Giacomo nevertheless remains among the best Stephen King TV series.

San Giacomo starred for seven seasons in Just Shoot Me!

Laura San Giacomo's second Golden Globe nomination was for her starring role in the late nineties, early 2000s sitcom Just Shoot Me!, where she ultimately played the series' lead character for all 149 episodes of its seven seasons between the years 1997 and 2003. Just Shoot Me!'s story begins when a journalist named Maya, played by San Giacomo, is fired from her job at a TV news station after meddling with an on-air anchor's teleprompter. She takes a job instead at a fashion magazine owned by her father. Among the magazine's employees is her dad's assistant, Dennis, played by David Spade. He was nominated for two Golden Globes for his work in the series.

Spade has ultimately faded out of appearing in TV roles in the years since. San Giacomo, however, has remained on TV screens, going on to appear in series like Veronica Mars, Saving Grace, Animal Kingdom and more.