Sharon Stone says she was misled while filming famous Basic Instinct scene

Laura Harding, PA Deputy Entertainment Editor
·3-min read

Sharon Stone has said she was pressured to have sex with her male co-stars in order to have better chemistry with them on-screen and was misled while filming the most famous scene in Basic Instinct without underwear.

The actress said she did not know she would be so exposed in the 1992 thriller, in which she starred opposite Michael Douglas.

During a scene in the movie, her character Catherine Tramell uncrosses her legs to reveal she is not wearing underwear.

SHARON STONE
Sharon Stone in 1998 (Neil Munns/PA)

However, Stone said she was not aware of what the audience would see until she saw the film for the first time, according to an excerpt of her upcoming memoir The Beauty Of Living Twice, which has been published in Vanity Fair.

She said: “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.’

“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.

“Now, here is the issue. It didn’t matter anymore. It was me and my parts up there. I had decisions to make.”

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“I went to the projection booth, slapped Paul (Verhoeven, the director) 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. I had to find some way to become objective.

“I had spent so long coming to the project that I had fully examined the character and the dangerousness of the part. I came to work ready to play Catherine Tramell. Now I was being challenged again.”

She added: “After the screening, I let Paul know of the options Marty had laid out for me. Of course, he vehemently denied that I had any choices at all. I was just an actress, just a woman; what choices could I have?

“But I did have choices. So I thought and thought and I chose to allow this scene in the film. Why? Because it was correct for the film and for the character; and because, after all, I did it.

“By the way, you probably don’t recall, but my name wasn’t at the top with Michael Douglas’s on the poster.”

A representative for Verhoeven has been contacted for comment.

Stone also claimed that at one point in her career an unnamed male producer asked her to have sex with a co-star to cultivate onscreen chemistry.

She wrote: “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 f*** him themselves and leave me out of it.

“It was my job to act and I said so. This was not a popular response. I was considered difficult.”

Stone said she had similar experiences numerous times with other producers, who could come to her trailer to ask, “So, are you going to f*** him, or aren’t you? … You know it would go better if you did.”