Sharon Stone was pressured to have sex with her male co-stars in order to have better chemistry with them on-screen, she says — and these demands came from white male studio executives, she writes in her upcoming book.
Stone, who has had a prolific Hollywood career for four decades, also says she was tricked into shooting that infamous scene in “Basic Instinct” without undergarments, and did not know that her private parts would be exposed on film until she screened the film for the first time with a room full of agents and lawyers.
“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,'” Stone writes in her upcoming memoir, “The Beauty of Living Twice,” which is out later this month.
“Yes, there have been many points of view on this topic, but since I’m the one with the vagina in question, let me say: The other points of view are bullshit,” Stone writes in an excerpt released by Vanity Fair.
“Now, here is the issue. It didn’t matter anymore. It was me and my parts up there. I had decisions to make,” Stone writes.
Speaking of the film’s director, Paul Verhoeven, Stone recalls, “I went to the projection booth, slapped Paul across the face, left, went to my car, and called my lawyer, Marty Singer. Marty told me that they could not release this film as it was…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. Well, that was my first thought. Then I thought some more. What if I were the director? What if I had gotten that shot? What if I had gotten it on purpose? Or by accident? 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.”
A representative for Verhoeven declined to comment when contacted by Variety.
As her career exploded, Stone was able to include actor approval in her contract, meaning she gets a say in who will co-star with her.
“No one cared,” she writes. “They cast who they wanted. To my dismay, sometimes. To the detriment of the picture, sometimes.”
The Emmy and Golden Globe winner shares a story when a male producer — who she has not named — asked her to have sex with a co-star.
She writes, in part, that the male producer “explained to me why I should fuck my co-star so that we could have onscreen chemistry. Why, in his day, he made love to Ava Gardner onscreen and it was so sensational! Now just the creepy thought of him in the same room with Ava Gardner gave me pause. Then I realized that she also had to put up with him and pretend that he was in any way interesting.”
Stone recalls thinking, “‘You guys insisted on this actor when he couldn’t get one whole scene out in the test…Now you think if I fuck him, he will become a fine actor?’ Nobody’s that good in bed.”
“I felt they could have just hired a co-star with talent, someone who could deliver a scene and remember his lines. I also felt they could fuck him themselves and leave me out of it,” she writes. “It was my job to act and I said so. This was not a popular response. I was considered difficult.”
Stone says she had similar experiences numerous times with other producers, who could come to her trailer to ask, “So, are you going to fuck him, or aren’t you? … You know it would go better if you did.”
“Sex, not just sexuality onscreen, has long been expected in my business,” she writes.
“Many people ask me what it was like in my days of being a superstar. It was like this. Play ball or get off the field, girl,” the Oscar nominee says.
Stone’s personal experiences are shared in her book, shining a light on the progress made — and the work that still needs to be done — since her time rising as a star in Hollywood in the ’80s and ’90s.
She writes that she was the first woman to get paid “something considered respectable — still a whole lot less than men, but more than women had been paid in the past.” And because of that, she had a reputation as having “the biggest balls in Hollywood,” which led to criticism that men were intimidated by her.
Stone says she was often alone on set with hundreds of men, which felt isolating and uncomfortable — a stark contrast to current times, where there is a push for more female crew members on set, and more women are finally in positions of power.
“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?” she writes. “And now I am the intimidating one.”
Stone writes that while she is pleased to see the progress being made in Hollywood, she wants to see due process for sex crimes.
“I believe that there is a great and good court of law for this that must be revised, reviewed, revamped, reclaimed, and reconsidered to respect the sexuality of the public as a whole,” Stone writes. “I know that all of these women and men who have been harassed, been raped, had their jobs held for ransom, and been sexually tormented deserve their day in court. I know that to be true.”
“I believe in all of what is happening now,” she continues. “The law, not just the press, needs to get in gear on this. This time, this generation, the government needs to listen to us, all of us.”