Sharon Stone: I Was Duped on Notorious Basic Instinct Scene

Actor says production team member on 1992 film tricked her into removing panties to stop light from reflecting
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 19, 2021 1:36 PM CDT
Sharon Stone: I Was Duped on Notorious Basic Instinct Scene
In this 1992 publicity image, Sharon Stone is seen in a scene from "Basic Instinct."   (AP Photo/TriStar Pictures, Ralph Nelson, file)

Sharon Stone's new memoir, The Beauty of Living Twice, is due out at the end of the month, and she's offering a sneak peek via an excerpt in Vanity Fair—with a big revelation about another sneak peek in a movie that helped propel her to stardom. The 63-year-old actor writes that during the filming of 1992's Basic Instinct, directed by Paul Verhoeven, she hadn't realized that the movie's most infamous scene—in which her character, novelist Catherine Tramell, uncrosses her legs during an interrogation, revealing her private parts—was actually going to show it all. Stone writes that someone working on the film had assured her that "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 writes she didn't realize her vagina had actually been on full display until she attended a screening with a room filled with agents and lawyers and saw it for herself.

"It was me and my parts up there," she writes. "I had decisions to make. I went to the projection booth, slapped Paul [Verhoeven] across the face," and consulted her lawyer, who told her they couldn't release the movie with that scene unless she gave her OK. She ultimately did, as she felt it fit her manipulative character. In the excerpt, Stone also notes that Basic Instinct co-star Michael Douglas initially didn't want to screen-test with her (a dozen other actresses were offered the Tramell part first); that an unnamed director on another movie "wouldn't direct me because I refused to sit in his lap"; and that a producer once suggested she sleep with a co-star "so that we could have onscreen chemistry." She writes she didn't go for that latter suggestion, but that in the end it wasn't that surprising: "Sex, not just sexuality onscreen, has long been expected in my business." Stone's book comes out March 30. Read more of the excerpt here. (Read more Sharon Stone stories.)

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