Sharon Stone Says She Was Lied to About This Famous Explicit Scene
In her memoir, the actor explains how her Basic Instinct nudity happened without her consent.
Sharon Stone had already been acting on film for over a decade when her breakout role came around: 1992's Basic Instinct, the erotic thriller in which she stars opposite Michael Douglas. In addition to its twists, campy plot, and Stone's icy performance, Basic Instinct is also notorious for one blink-and-you-miss-it moment. The 63-year-old actor opens up about the partial but shocking nudity that threatened to define the movie and her career in her new memoir. In an excerpt of the book published by Vanity Fair, Sharon Stone renews her claim that she was lied to about the most explicit scene in Basic Instinct. Read on to find out what she did when she realized how much she bared on screen, and for another actor who's spoken out about this topic, here's Salma Hayek Said This Was the Hardest Sex Scene She Ever Had to Film.
Basic Instinct had to be cut just to get an R rating.
Stone plays a bisexual thriller writer named Catherine Trammell who becomes the main suspect in a murder while also carrying on an affair with the detective investigating the case in Basic Instinct. Director Paul Verhoeven told The New York Times back in 1992 that he had to cut "35 to 40 seconds" from the theatrical version of the film to avoid an NC-17 rating, but that only involved trimming some of the film's many sex scenes. The moment Stone says she was told wouldn't be seen on screen—when Catherine is being interrogated and Stone uncrosses her legs while wearing a skirt and no underwear—stayed in the final cut.
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Stone says that she was tricked into taking off her underwear for the scene.
Stone has maintained for several years that she was told by Verhoeven and crew members that her private parts were not being filmed during that scene. In the newly released excerpt from The Beauty of Living Twice, Stone further explains what happened on set and how she dealt with the revelation that she was actually exposed in the movie.
"'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,'" Stone recalls being told by someone in production. "Yes, there have been many points of view on this topic," she continues, "but since I'm the one with the vagina in question, let me say: The other points of view are b******."
It wasn't until she was in a test screening "with a room full of agents and lawyers" that she knew the unintended flash had occurred and was still in the film.
For another actor who's established her boundaries, check out Keira Knightley Says She'll Only Do Sex Scenes in These Circumstances.
Stone could have tried to prevent the scene from being included, but decided not to.
Stone goes on to say that the first thing she did after the screening ended was to go to the production booth where the director was sitting and "[slap] Paul across the face." Then she called her lawyer, Marty Singer, from her car.
"Marty told me that they could not release this film as it was. That I could get an injunction. First, at that time, this would give the film an X rating," she writes. "And, Marty said, per the Screen Actors Guild, my union, it wasn't legal to shoot up my dress in this fashion. Whew, I thought."
Stone says she confronted Verhoeven with the information that her lawyer had give her. "Of course, he vehemently denied that I had any choices at all," she writes. "I was just an actress, just a woman; what choices could I have?"
Despite her options, Stone ultimately decided not to take legal action. She explains her reasons in the memoir, recalling that Verhoeven had championed her for the role, even when Douglas (who she says is a good friend now) didn't want to do a screen test with her as she wasn't a big enough name.
"What if I were the director? What if I had gotten that shot? What if I had gotten it on purpose? Or by accident?" Stone says in the book. "What if it just existed? That was a lot to think about. 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."
She also opted not to block the scene because because she felt "it was correct for the film and for the character; and because, after all, I did it."
People's coverage of the excerpt notes that Verhoeven didn't respond to a request for comment on Stone's renewed accusations. In the past, he's adamantly claimed that the actor did know that the nudity was being shot and would likely be in the film. "You cannot do that shot without somebody knowing," he told Empire magazine in 2017.
For a former kid actor's perspective, check out This Child Star Is Revealing the Damage of Being Sexualized at a Young Age.
She also says she's been asked to sleep with co-stars.
Basic Instinct isn't the only topic covered in this snippet of her memoir. Stone also references several other occasions where she was treated unprofessionally because of her gender. On one big film that she was leading, she says, the "#MeToo candidate" director "wouldn't shoot with [her] because [she] refused to sit in his lap and take direction." One producer told her that she should have sex with her co-star before filming started because it would increase their chemistry. Several others suggested that same thing during shoots if the actor opposite her wasn't performing the way they wanted, she claims.
She also addresses her image and reputation in the industry, saying that it was because she stood up for herself and refused so many of these requests that she came to be thought of as "difficult" or "intimidating."
"I was often alone on a set with hundreds of men," Stone writes. "Hundreds of men and me. Often not even the caterer employed women when I was first working. My makeup and hair were men. Can you imagine what it was like to be the only woman on a set—to be the only naked woman, with maybe one or two other women standing near? The costumer and the script gal? And now I am the intimidating one."
For Stone and other performers who've returned to iconic roles, here are 17 Actors Who Played the Same Character Years Later.