Sharon Stone has revealed that she first saw her infamous crotch shot scene in Basic Instinct in a screening room with agents and lawyers — after being assured that filmgoers wouldn’t see anything when she was asked to remove her underwear.
The 63-year-old movie star has opened up about her experiences as a woman in Hollywood in her new memoir, The Beauty of Living Twice, sharing shocking stories about how she was once advised to ‘f*** my co-star’ for better onscreen chemistry and repeatedly called the wrong name by her Basic Instinct director.
But perhaps the most startling revelation of all was that Stone’s star-making scene in the 1992 film was far more explicit than she had anticipated, with the actress claiming she had no idea she was baring all when it was filmed.
‘After we shot Basic Instinct, I got called in to see it,’ she wrote in the excerpt published by Vanity Fair. ‘Not on my own with the director, as one would anticipate, given the situation that has given us all pause, so to speak, but with a room full of agents and lawyers, most of whom had nothing to do with the project.
‘That was how I saw my vagina-shot for the first time, long after I’d been told, “We can’t see anything — I just need you to remove your panties, as the white is reflecting the light, so we know you have panties on.”‘
Sharon Stone, 63, has opened up about her experiences as a woman in Hollywood in her new memoir, The Beauty of Living Twice, including her infamous crotch shot in Basic Instinct
In a published excerpt, she recalled how she first saw the racy scene (pictured) in a screening room with agents and lawyers — after being promised no one would be able to see anything
In the unforgettable scene, Stone’s femme fatale character — crime writer Catherine Tramell — is being interrogated by the police wearing a form-fitting white mini dress. She is smoking and recounting her sexual encounters when she seductively crosses her legs and flashes the dumbstruck investigators in front of her.
Director Paul Verhoeven has denied that he exploited Stone, claiming that she knew what she was doing in the scene and was into it.
‘Sharon is lying,’ he told ICON in 2017. ‘Any actress knows what she’s going to see if you ask her to take off her underwear and point there with the camera.’
Verhoeven alleged that Stone was fine with the nudity until she saw the scene surrounded by her agent and publicist, who feared it would ruin her career.
However, in her memoir, Stone stressed that her version of events is the only one worth hearing because it was her body being filmed.
‘Yes, there have been many points of view on this topic, but since I’m the one with the vagina in question, let me say: The other points of view are bulls***,’ she wrote.
‘Now, here is the issue. It didn’t matter anymore. It was me and my parts up there. I had decisions to make. I went to the projection booth, slapped Paul across the face, left, went to my car, and called my lawyer, Marty Singer.’
Stone said Singer told her that they could not release the film as it was, and she could get an injunction to stop it. The lawyer assured her it wasn’t legal for them to shoot up her dress, and for a moment she was relieved, but then she thought about the film and her character.
‘What if I were the director? What if I had gotten that shot? What if I had gotten it on purpose? Or by accident? What if it just existed? That was a lot to think about,’ she said.
‘I knew what film I was doing. For heaven’s sake, I fought for that part, and all that time, only this director had stood up for me. I had to find some way to become objective.’
According to Stone, she confronted Verhoeven with the options Singer had given to her, saying he denied that she had any choices in the matter.
‘But I did have choices. So I thought and thought and I chose to allow this scene in the film,’ she recalled. ‘Why? Because it was correct for the film and for the character; and because, after all, I did it.’
‘By the way, you probably don’t recall, but my name wasn’t at the top with Michael Douglas’s on the poster,’ she added.
Stone also claimed that Verhoeven incorrectly called her ‘Karen’ during her first meeting with him and continued to do so ‘all through the making and postproduction of the movie.’
The Basic Instinct star said that only now there is some respect for the cult classic, which was panned by critics, recounting how she was laughed at at an awards show following its release.
‘When I went to the Golden Globes as a nominee in 1993 and they called my name as a glamorous finalist, everyone laughed,’ she wrote. ‘Well, not everyone, but enough of the room so that I was told where I sat.’
In Stone’s memoir, she reflected on how little respect she received as a woman in the industry and how she was deemed ‘difficult’ because she didn’t just do what she was told.
She said one abusive director would have her get hair and makeup done on set but then wouldn’t to shoot her because she ‘refused to sit in his lap taken direction.’ She admitted that she spent most of her time on set playing with her newborn son Laird.
‘Of course the film was a bomb. The level of insecurity and unprofessionalism, and I would guess drug abuse, required to make those kinds of choices never leads to good work,’ she said.
‘But as a superstar, which at that point I was, and a woman, I had no say. That was how it was in my day. Even a high, abusive director had more power than I did.’
Giving another example, Stone pointed out that she had actor approval in her contract, but it was always ignored. Producers would cast whoever they wanted, sometimes to her ‘dismay.’
The actress said one producer actually told her to sleep with her co-star to get a scene out of them, long after it was clear he wasn’t right for the part.
‘I had a producer bring me to his office, where he had malted milk balls in a little milk-carton-type container under his arm with the spout open. He walked back and forth in his office with the balls falling out of the spout and rolling all over the wood floor as he explained to me why I should f*** my costar so that we could have onscreen chemistry,’ she recalled.
‘Why, in his day, he made love to Ava Gardner onscreen and it was so sensational! Now just the creepy thought of him in the same room with Ava Gardner gave me pause. Then I realized that she also had to put up with him and pretend that he was in any way interesting.’
Stone said all she could think about was how the actor in question that they had insisted on couldn’t ‘couldn’t get one whole scene out in the test.’
‘Now you think if I f*** him, he will become a fine actor? Nobody’s that good in bed,’ she noted. ‘I felt they could have just hired a costar with talent, someone who could deliver a scene and remember his lines. I also felt they could f*** him themselves and leave me out of it. It was my job to act and I said so.
‘This was not a popular response. I was considered difficult.’
Stone noted there were also ‘great men’ in her day, too, including her Basic Instinct co-star Michael Douglas, whom she is still friends with. She sees that the ‘whole system is changing’ in the wake of the #MeToo movement.
‘The financial burden is real, and the old boys’ club isn’t covering for this anymore,’ she wrote. ‘There are more women at the helm, and they aren’t in the pocket of the men, forced to play along or be canned.’