An attorney employed by the law firm, Pappas & Swain, Julie worked for Strack Industries CEO, Louis Strack. One day, Julie discovered the Bellasarious Memorandum, a document addressed to Strack from Claude Bellasarious, which proved Strack's involvement in bribing members of the city zoning commission. Julie left the memo at Peyton's lab for safekeeping when she went to confront Strack on the matter, little did she know that by leaving the memo would indirectly cause Peyton's life to change forever. Upon confronting Strack, he confessed to her and revealed his true intention, the construction of his ideal "City of the Future" along the waterfront. After their conversation, Strack warned Julie that his rival and notorious mobster, [Robert G. Durant]], might try to steal the document. Julie returned to the lab too late: Durant and his gang had attacked it on Strack's orders and rigged it to explode. Julie was standing outside of the lab when it exploded, Peyton is presumed dead, blown to bits because the biggest piece of him they found was an ear, she has a quiet funeral for him and continues her life. However Peyton was in fact alive, having been found by a fisherman and taken to a highly advance burn ward. The horribly disfigured Peyton would soon escape from the ward and use the synthetic skin that he has been researching of on himself. Julie was soon reunited with Peyton who stated that he was in a coma rather than being dead. He is aware of Julie seeing Strack after his supposed death and eventually confronts her, to which she responds that Strack only comforted her. Westlake does not tell Julie about his condition, but asks her various questions on whether she would accept him regardless or not.
The next time Peyton and Julie have a date at the carnival, an altercation causes Peyton to lose his temper and inadvertently reveals to Julie that there is indeed something wrong with him. She follows him as he flees (his 99 minutes were up,) and when she discovers that he was using masks to hide his true face, she calls out to Peyton that she still loves him regardless.
Julie later tells Strack that she can no longer see him, and after discovering the Bellasarious Memorandum on his desk while he was on the phone, she confirms that Strack was collaborating with Durant the entire time. She tells him that Westlake is still alive, but Strack tells her that as long as he has the memorandum, no charges can be filed. When Julie leaves, Durant enters and is told by Strack to kill Peyton.
Julie was taken hostage by Strack, however Peyton (now impersonating Durant who he believed to have killed) arrives to rescue her but his ruse is broken by Strack, who fights him on an unfinished building floor 650 feet from the ground. Julie subdues her captor by shoves him down to his death when he was about to shoot Peyton. When Peyton gets the upper hand, Strack calls his bluff by saying that killing him would not be something he could live with. Peyton then kills Strack, saying to himself: "I'm learning to live with a lot of things."
Unfortunately, when Julie tries to convince Peyton that he can still return to his old life, Peyton declines, saying that he has now become a monster and that the Peyton she knew was gone and runs away from Julie as they exit an elevator. Julie tries to go after him, but looses sight of him in the crowd.
Appearances in other mediaEdit
Behind the scenesEdit
Julie was portrayed by Frances McDormand, who knew director Sam Raimi when she, Joel and Ethan Coen shared a house with him together during the 1980s. Raimi wanted to cast McDormand to help boost her career by casting her as a strong female character and calm the backlash the director received for the treatment of women in the Evil Dead movies. While making the film, both Raimi and McDormand would argue over creative differences on the film and Raimi stated that McDormand was very difficult to direct. Despite their disagreements, both Raimi and McDormand maintained a healthy argument and the actress looks back fondly on the film, and she and her husband, Joel Coen, are still friends with Raimi.
The studio resisted the notion of casting Frances McDormand and almost went to cast Julia Roberts before she was cast in Pretty Woman, leading McDormand to keep the role. At one point, the studio wanted Demi Moore for the role. Raimi even tested Bridget Fonda but felt that she was too young for lead actor, Liam Neeson.