In Emilio Estevez’s “Bobby,” Sharon Stone plays the hardened yet vulnerable hairdresser at the Ambassador Hotel on the night of Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination.
Stone didn’t think twice about getting involved with writer-helmer Estevez, who was directing his first feature film in 10 years after working during the last few years on episodic TV. “It was a beautifully written script. His dream was very powerful, and his concept very clear.”
It also didn’t hurt that it was a subject Stone found compelling. “I remember these experiences when RFK was killed and Martin Luther King, who had the courage to stand up and speak for the light and decency in our hearts.”
With a shoestring budget of $5.5 million, the need to make the project outweighed the bottom line. “Everybody worked for free,” Stone says. “We started the film with three big-name actors and day players.”
Together they became what Stone describes as a “hopeless little team,” in it for the right reasons. “It was an extraordinarily compelling shoot to be on because all of the people that you see in the film were often all together on set,” Stone recalls.
When it came time to film the final scene, Stone recollects it was almost too intense to encapsulate in one take. Some of the day players were there on the night depicted in the film and shared their experiences with the cast. “It was this quiet coming together. It wasn’t just grief but a longing.”
Stone credits costumer Julie Weiss with helping to engender a deeper understanding of her character while keeping things lively on the set. The key to her character was badly drawn eyeliner and visible panty lines.
“She told me to wear my underwear on the outside of my pantyhose. She gets it,” Stone says.
Stone says a pivotal scene with co-star Demi Moore as an alcoholic singer confessing her sins helped Stone “evolve to the place where she could cry and be forgiving” of her cheating husband (William H. Macy), who she then clings to in the final scene.
“In that crisis moment,” Stone says, “she’s able to break through to compassion. That’s what it was all about.”
Favorite film of the past five years: “The Fog of War.” “The images keep flying up for me.”
Actor who impressed you greatly after working together: Robert De Niro in “Casino.” “In acting class, we were always asked our goals. I remember specifically saying I want to be able to sit down opposite De Niro and hold my own. When I got there, I was hanging on by my toenails.”
Next project: Ryan Eslinger’s “When a Man Falls in the Forest,” with Timothy Hutton.