Sharon Stone Recalls Being Asked To Sleep With Costar In Upcoming Memoir, Shedding New Light On #MeToo Experiences With ‘Basic Instinct’ & More

Sharon Stone in 'Basic Instinct'
Sharon Stone in 'Basic Instinct' Everett Collection

With upcoming memoir The Beauty of Living Twice, Sharon Stone is unveiling new details with regard to #MeToo moments in her legendary career.

In an exclusive excerpt shared with Vanity Fair on Thursday, the actress recalled a number of incidents, including being told by a former manager that no one would hire her because she wasn’t “f***able.” She also mentioned working with an unnamed director she referred to as a “#MeToo candidate” who made life on set difficult because she would not “sit in his lap and take direction.” In this scenario, and others, the powers-that-be did nothing to address Stone’s concerns.

Among the most striking revelations to come out of the excerpt was the fact that a producer had once approached the actress, suggesting that she sleep with her male costar. “He explained to me why I should f**k my costar so that we could have onscreen chemistry. Why, in his day, he made love to Ava Gardner onscreen and it was so sensational!” Stone wrote. “Now just the creepy thought of him in the same room with Ava Gardner gave me pause.”

The actress remembered thinking at the time that inadequate chemistry between herself and her costar had nothing to do with her. “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**k him themselves and leave me out of it,” she wrote. “It was my job to act and I said so.”

While Stone didn’t name the producer and actor involved, she did say that she was labeled “difficult” as a result of her actions—and thus, this event had long-term implications for her career.

Additionally, in her memoir, the Golden Globe winner will touch on her experience with Basic Instinct, the Paul Verhoeven thriller—in which she appeared opposite Michael Douglas—that put her on the map as a star.

While Stone had previously worked with Verhoeven on Total Recall, she says she had to fight incredibly hard to land the starring role of Catherine Tramell, because “Michael Douglas didn’t want to test with me.”

Eventually, of course, Stone did land a test, and years down the road, the actress says that she and Douglas are “friends.” But her experience with Basic Instinct was further soured by an early screening of the film. It was in that moment that she first saw her infamous interrogation scene, in which she uncrosses her legs to reveal that she is not wearing underwear.

“After we shot Basic Instinct, I got called in to see it. Not on my own with the director, as one would anticipate…but with a room full of agents and lawyers, most of whom had nothing to do with the project,” she recalled. “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.’”

Following the screening, Stone says she headed into the projection booth, “slapped Paul across the face, left, went to my car, and called my lawyer, Marty Singer.” Singer advised her that the film could not be released in its current form—at the time, the interrogation scene would have landed Basic Instinct an X rating—and that if she wished, she could “get an injunction” to stop its release.

Upon further reflection, Stone says she spoke with Verhoeven about the discussion she’d had with her attorney. “Of course, he vehemently denied that I had any choices at all,” she wrote. “I was just an actress, just a woman; what choices could I have?

“But I did have choices. So I thought and thought and I chose to allow this scene in the film,” she added. “Why? Because it was correct for the film and for the character; and because, after all, I did it.”

For his part, Verhoeven has denied the claims of Stone, suggesting that the actress was clear, from the get-go, on what the scene would entail.

On March 30, The Beauty of Living Twice will be published via the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Among the experiences described above and others, the memoir will capture the actresses’ efforts to rebuild her life and career in the aftermath of a massive stroke.

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