Sharon Stone Says Basic Instinct Took 'a Toll on Everybody' on Set: We 'Were Breaking Norms'

Sharon Stone's time filming Basic Instinct wasn't a fairytale Hollywood story.

The 63-year-old actress spoke to The New Yorker for an interview published on Sunday where she recalled how making the 1992 film "was taking a toll on everybody." 

"[Paul] Verhoeven [director] ended up in the hospital—his sinus thing ruptured, and he couldn't stop having a nosebleed," Stone said. "There was tremendous pressure on that set."

She continued, "Now people walk around showing their penises on Netflix, but, in the olden days, what we were doing was very new. This was a feature film for a major studio, and we had nudity, sex, homosexuality, all these things that, in my era, were breaking norms."

Through it all, Stone had one person she appreciated during her time making the film.

"Thank God for Michael Douglas," she said. "He's way beyond just being a feminist. He's a humanist. He really cares about everything he does."

In her new memoir, The Beauty of Living Twice, Stone opens up about being tricked into taking her underwear off during the infamous cross-legged scene under the pretense that her private area would not be visible in the film. 

In an excerpt of her memoir obtained by Vanity Fair, the actress said she was called to see the final cut of the movie "with a room full of agents and lawyers, most of whom had nothing to do with the project."

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"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,' " she wrote. "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 bulls–. … It was me and my parts up there."

After the viewing, Stone said she slapped "Paul [Verhoeven] across the face, left, went to my car, and called my lawyer, Marty Singer."

Singer reportedly informed Stone that the movie could not be made, according to the Screen Actors Guild. "It wasn't legal to shoot up my dress in this fashion," she learned. 

"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?" she recalled. "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."

The Beauty of Living Twice is available everywhere on March 30.

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