Interview: Sharon Stone

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Actress Sharon Stone has had a remarkable yet ground breaking career. Her films have established a mark for films to go ‘beyond’ the limits of ordinary storytelling and explore a fascinating openness on screen that eliminate a taboo and allow the audience to relate in a real life sense through style, charisma and sexual satisfaction that only Sharon Stone can bring to this mind-manipulating character in Basic Instinct 2. Here she chats with The Black Star News’s Tonisha Johnson.

BSN: How much were you concerned with the ‘look’ of Basic Instinct 2?
SS: Very. I thought it should be very fashion forward. I thought it should have a ‘her’ look kind of a thing. I got to pick the wardrobe person. I just think Beatrix Pasztor is the most interesting, amazing wardrobe person. Look at some of the things she’s done. Look at Vanity Fair for example. That was not a big budget movie. Look at those costumes. It’s just mind blowing. And if you look at the way I look, you can see that the colors in that movie are modern day dyed because you can look at the color saturation and the type of film that that movie was shot on. And I’m looking at that saying she used vegetable dyes to dye on those fabrics. She didn’t just go buy those fabrics. That woman was out there dying in tubs to make those gowns those color rich colors. Which to me, that’s a person you want to know cause that means she’s up to her shoulders dying those things to make that film come alive in that way. I was watching the movie and at one point I saw that a person had on a bat as a corsage. And I was like I got to know her, that’s unbelievable. She’s wearing a bat. Oh God.

BSN: What made you wait so long to do the film?
SS: (Long Pause) You know, with a character like that, over time, she becomes more observational. And so much more dangerous. Because her need and desire to be loved and her desperate disability to accomplish that. To find someone that maybe understands her and maybe gets her is a dim flicker of the light of hope. So it takes awhile for her to engage because it’s very risky in a movie like this because she’s a little bit out of it. And you want the character to be interesting but you have to find a way to make her interesting while she’s desperate and disconnected.

BSN: Why did you choose to stick by it when so many others decided not to stick around?
SS: Well, you know, they tried to do different things. They had all these different ideas; they even sold it to a different producer who wanted to make it with a different actress. He called me in to have a meeting to talk about it. And I said great lets do it. If you want me to take her out to lunch and talk to her about it…I will. The producer got completely freaked out.

BSN: The first five minutes of the film is riveting. Can you talk about that splash of excitement from the character?
SS: It’s very exciting for her to have this car, to have this guy, to have this thing. And I think that the guy is just not working for her. Nothing is happening. The concept of I kill myself and you too is the only thing left.

BSN: That car was hot.
SS: It had wing doors. They are thick. And because they open like this it really is terrifying to go underwater with it. Even popping the top was a lot of pressure. So you know it was a giant risk doing this scene. I had spare airs everywhere, behind the seat, in the glove box. We were as protected as we could possibly be. We had an extraordinary dive team. My heel got caught in the floor grid. I had ankle traps and 4 inch heels. And I knew that could happen. I told my dive master, ‘you’ve got to have a knife’. He had one strapped to his leg. And fortunately because I didn’t want to blow the take because it’s this huge thing to pull the car back out, blow dry my hair, start over, every time we had to redo this. So I really had to work through the take but it was a moment that I’d never forget.

BSN: Coincidentally enough, Basic Instinct 2 is coming out this year. As last year was deemed Hollywood’s Gay year…
SS: Yeah, this can be called the sex year. Lol.

BSN: How do you see BI2 in today’s society?
SS: What’s terrific is I think we did break those borders and those boundaries of sexuality and homosexuality and all of these kinds of things that were once taboo. And because of that I think we broke all kinds of boundaries. There are all kinds of things to be spoken about and done in film. I’m pretty proud of the boundaries we broke. When I was nominated for a Golden Globe for the first film, people laughed in the room, because they couldn’t cope with the film of our kind of controversy getting critical acclaim. That film is still playing. It’s still being rented. People still know that character by name. Look at the kinds of films being made as a result of the kinds of barriers being broke in the theatre. I’m thrilled.

BSN: Was there less for BI2 to do in terms of breaking taboos?
SS: Well, I mean, what’re you gonna do? We are now able and afforded the possibility of being who and what we are as humans in filmmaking. I couldn’t be more pleased.

BSN: So many rumors about the who would play the gentleman opposite you. How did you settle on Morrissey playing the role?
SS: What really is interesting is they like to talk about who turned down the part. I like to thank the 13 women who turned down Basic Instinct 1 because I was the 14th choice. And I want to say if so and so turned down being in Basic Instinct 2’ I’d like to thank each and everyone of them for turning down cause I got David Morrissey. I couldn’t be more thrilled that every person turned down BI2. Because there isn’t anybody I’d rather have in that movie than David Morrissey. There isn’t anybody who could play that part more better. There isn’t anybody who is more talented, more sexy, more talented and interesting. There isn’t anybody who would have caused me to be more challenged and on my toes and on my game. He’s a spectacular human being and I loved working with him.

BSN: In this film the lesbian factor is mentioned but played down. What happened with that particular angle?
SS: We had a threesome scene. But when we took everything to the ratings board, that was one of the things that they made us cut out. We had a limit and we were over it.

BSN: Did the distance in the years to make the second version cause you to bring a degree of maturity to the character and yourself as an actress?
SS: I hope so. More generous. More comfortable in general as an artist.

BSN: Would you do a BI3?
SS: (Continuous Laughing) it’s funny. It never crossed my mind.

BSN: Anything different you’d bring to BI3?
SS: Yeah. My wheelchair.

Copyright © Tonisha Johnson

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