The first thought when you see Sharon Stone live: This woman radiates out of herself. And is as wise to life as he is intelligent. With an IQ of 154, the Hollywood star is among the five percent of the smartest people in the world. At the Zurich Film Festival, the charismatic film icon allowed surprisingly private insights into her extraordinary life in front of and behind the camera.
Many Hollywood stars have names that become bigger with success than the person behind them. Conversely, there are character actors in the movie business whose talent transcends the notoriety of their name. Sharon Stone has fought for years to be more than just the beautiful blonde with long legs and to be recognized as a talented actress.
Sharon Stone was honored these days at the 17th Zurich Film Festival for her acting career with the prestigious Golden Icon Award. The Hollywood star was surprisingly frank in answering questions about her career and herself from selected members of the press.
Sharon Stone:My career is what it is. I wouldn’t want to change a thing! We all have our own lessons to learn, we all have our own destiny. Every man makes his own journey.
Of course there are highlights in my career. Great, glorious moments to remember then. But to pretend that there are no terrible moments would be wrong! Because it is the great disasters that make us learn and subsequently do the most wonderful things. We can’t grow into our greatness without trying new things. Of course, we often fail at this! But with each new thing we try and fail at, we learn amazing and often very subtle things. These become the essence of our later success. That’s why, in many ways, the biggest failures are often the most important foundations for great success.
Sharon Stone (63) was signed by the prestigious Eileen Ford modeling agency in New York at the age of 19. Her pictures on the covers of “Vogue” and “Elle” eventually paved her way to film.
Sharon Stone achieved overnight fame as the film partner of Michael Douglas in the erotic thriller “Basic Instinct” (1992). Her revealing, self-confident, lascivious and at the same time undercooled portrayal of this femme fatale set new standards, according to many critics, for the boundaries that applied to the portrayal of erotic themes in Hollywood cinema. Stone thus abruptly joined the ranks of Hollywood’s highest-paid movie stars.
Subsequent attempts to escape the stereotype as Hollywood’s new sex goddess failed. The longed-for artistic success, together with a Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination, was finally brought by Martin Scorsese’s “Casino” (1995) alongside Robert De Niro.
I used to get six to ten or twelve offers for roles a week. Today, I try much harder to take my time when choosing projects. I would love to work with Taika Waititi (editor’s note: New Zealand film director, screenwriter, actor, painter and comedian) one day. I think he’s just great. I like the way he thinks. Then there are many actors I want to work with, and many more actresses. A lot of the filming for my movies so far has consisted of me as a woman with two hundred and fifty men on set. Although I’ve learned to be pretty fluent in men’s language, I’d really like to work more with women.
Sharon Stone:From my perspective, it’s not that I’m more committed to equality than others. I simply believe that everyone should be treated equally. Anything else is total bullshit! Why does a homosexual person have to give information about who he sleeps with and how he fucks? Nobody says to me: Oh, how do you fuck and who do you fuck? And do you lie on top or do you lie on the bottom I don ‘t have to walk into a room and explain how I have sex. You shouldn’t have to explain that to anyone. This kind of information is inappropriate and appalling because it is nobody’s business. It’s insulting to judge people by their sexuality.
I’ve been talking about my situations as a woman in the workplace and beyond long before #MeToo. It just took a long time for anyone to even listen to me. That’s always a very tricky situation, as a woman in the film business, with these many, many men. But thank God I had brothers and an extraordinarily strong father.
I never thought of myself as a feminist because my dad was a hardcore feminist. He told me as a girl, “You know, the only reason you’re not better than boys is because you want boys to like you. That’s wrong!” So I learned to be better than the boys. And of course, then none of them wanted anything to do with me anymore. This used to be a big problem in my life. I had to find my balance, had to learn how to win without losing. Especially as a woman, it’s a challenge.
Sharon Stone:I’ve stayed in touch with Martin Scorcese since shooting “Casino”. There was also a project of his not too long ago with a role for me, which unfortunately didn’t come off. I admire Marty, we’re close friends. I’ve also been friends with Joe Pesci for a long time. And De Niro is incredible anyway. When I first went to drama school, my drama teacher asked me, “What is your goal as an actress?” And I said, “My dream is to be in a movie with Robert De Niro”.
I remember the night we shot a scene for “Casino” where I’m coming back from running away with Jimmy Woods and I’m wearing this burgundy dress and we’re sitting at this u-shaped table in a restaurant. De Niro started improvising at one point in the scene and in this way forced me to play off the cuff as well. After we finished shooting, he told me, “Sharon, you’re a really good actress!” I remember smoking a cigarette, looking at him and thinking, “Yeah, now I’m really sitting across from Robert and he’s telling me I’m good.”
It was a great moment, but also irritating in an unknown way, because who can make their dreams come true? There’s heaven for something!
The statements by Sharon Stone about her career and her life were made at the press conference on September 25, 2021 at the Golden Icon Awards at the Zurich Film Festival. They were translated from English for this article.
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