Sharon Stone channels her defining role as an actor, playing Catherine Tramell in ‘Basic Instinct’, styled by Paris Libby in femme fatale looks suitable for a Hollywood icon. Photographer Branislav Simoncik captures the screen siren is stunning images — with a soft hand on retouching, bravo — for Vogue Portugal May 2019./ Hair by Giannandrea; makeup by Jo Baker
Although pop culture defines her differently, Stone, now 61, says she doesn’t consider herself to be a sex symbol. Still, Stone wanted to work in Hollywood, and she explains how she managed to get herself perceived as “fuckable”.
“When I entered the business the term ‘fuckable’ was used to see if you were employable. The studio executives sat around a large table and discussed whether or not each of us was in fact ‘fuckable’. They thought I was not,” she said. “I gave this some hard thought as I wanted to work, so I did a strategically planned semi-naked ‘Playboy’ shoot. Did I fit the part? Obviously not. Did I use my brain to figure out how to appear ‘fuckable’? You bet. (…) So no, is the answer. I didn’t and I don’t [feel like a sex symbol].”
As to her current status, Sharon Stone is equally frank, telling Vogue Portugal “I still know I am sexy.”
Stone’s response makes me think of her January 2018 interview with Lee Cowan on ‘CBS Sunday’. The actor was asked if she has ever felt "uncomfortable" in Hollywood, and if she has any of her own #MeToo stories. In fearless Sharon Stone fashion, the actor began laughing nonstop, leaving Cowan unsure of what to say next.
"You're laughing, but I don't know if that's a nervous laugh, or an 'Are you kidding me? Of course I have' laugh,” Cowan asked Stone.
Clearly, Stone wasn’t messing around, responding:
"I've been in this business for forty years, Lee. Can you imagine the business I stepped into forty years ago? Looking like I look, from Nowhere, Pennsylvania? I didn't come here with any protection. I've seen it all."
Asked in another interview with the ‘Daily Mail’ about being sexed up by Harvey Weinstein, Stone refused to answer.
Stone said: 'For people who behave outrageously, you just have to tell them they're awful, but there are other people who are coarse and mean and violent and abusive and assaulting, and these people need to go to jail.'
When questioned about whether she meant Weinstein, Stone answered: 'I do. And I hope he goes to jail.'
Stone brings this frank, defiant voice to Vogue Portugal, continuing her truth-telling with stunning details about working on Basic Instinct 2. The unnamed director is Michael Caton-Jones
“I loved doing most of my films. Hated? Well, I worked with a director on 'Basic 2' who asked me to sit on his lap each day to receive his direction, and when I refused he wouldn’t shoot me," she said. "This went on for weeks. I had a two-week-old baby when this started. I can say we all hated that and I think the film reflects the quality of the atmosphere we all worked in."
For his part, Michael Caton-Jones released his own 2016 reflections about his career, speaking of Sharon Stone this way:
‘The day we finished shooting was the last day I spoke to her. By then we hated each other,’ he says. ‘I couldn’t even pretend any more.’ The film also flopped at the boxoffice. ‘Stone appears to have had so much work done that her face resembles a tautly made bed,’ sniped the Boston Globe.
Caton-Jones may talk tough (writes his narrator) Siobhan Synnot but he was bruised by the Basic Instinct experience and retreated to directing TV dramas such as Spooks and mini series for Ridley Scott. ‘Basic Instinct 2 turned me off filmmaking for a long time,’ says the moviemaker, then adds thoughtfully: ‘On the upside, David Morrissey got a house out of it.’
Stone doesn’t flinch in telling Vogue Portugal how Hollywood has neglected women.
"Most films are written by men, directed by men, made by men, with the male mentality. Not at all considering how women actually are, how we do think and feel," she said. "That is why many of my characters are drunk or drug addicts or crazy, that is the only way I could support their behavior honestly.”
Alrighty then, Ms. Stone.