Sharon Stone Reinvented
After a virtual five-year hiatus and armed with a new lease on life, Sharon Stone has returned to her rightful place as a Hollywood star.
From the Print Edition:
Sharon Stone, July/Aug 2004
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Of course, Basic Instinct: Part Two is a real possibility. "I've been talking to [people] and we're considering making the sequel. It's interesting to me again, where it wasn't interesting to me for a long time," Stone says. She explained that a deal had been struck for the sequel years ago, but it fell apart and led to a lawsuit. The trial was set to begin in May, but in a recent mediation meeting, the suggestion was made to iron out the problems and make the movie. "I thought that was a delightful concept, and we're talking about that instead. It would be fun for everybody.
"I'm looking at all different kinds of things right now," Stone says. She has started writing lyrics with some musicians who specialize in hit tunes in the hopes of a songwriting career. She had two songwriting sessions the week of this interview. She has made contact again with a book publisher, who had seen some short stories she wrote years ago. "I was looking through a cupboard, and I found—I know this is going to sound impossible—about 50 short stories," she says. "I had no recollection of writing about half of them, and I started reading them and thought, Gee, these are pretty good. I called this publisher today and left a message. I had said, 'No way,' back then, because I wasn't feeling very strong. I was at a point in my life when my confidence was just pummeled. Maybe I do need to believe in myself a little more than I do."
But she's also driven to explore some ideas that she has had about "how to make material in a new way," she says. "There are a couple of people who are supersmart who understand me. And I can go to them and say, I have this idea, and they seem to get me. They listen." She says that years ago she had pushed studios to put Jim Carrey in a movie before he became a star with Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. She did the same with Russell Crowe, whom she helped get cast in The Quick and the Dead after seeing him play a neo-Nazi skinhead in the Australian film Romper Stomper.
And she recalls that back in the mid-1990s, she went to a producer and set out a concept for a reality movie filmed in her house, about an actor who wants to film a reality show. "He said, 'Nobody wants to see reality,'" she says. "But there are some people now who don't think I'm crazy, who actually get it that I have some ideas. So I'm going to them.
"I think I'm actually more of an idea person," Stone says. "At least that's what I'm hoping."
She also is committed to charity work. She has been the spokesperson for AMFAR, the American Foundation for AIDS Research, since 1995. While she stepped in years ago as a substitute for Elizabeth Taylor, who was unable to appear for an event in Cannes, Stone has taken the charity to heart. After she took the job, her mentor and acting coach, Roy London, fell ill with AIDS and eventually died. "It wasn't because of him that I did it, but it was because of him that I had the courage to become philanthropic. I think it's just my calling to do this, and somehow, I've learned how to be good at it," Stone says. She also has worked on other charities, including one that helps the homeless in the San Francisco area, a project spearheaded by Francis Ford Coppola. "It's not about AIDS, or breast cancer, or the homeless," Stone says, "It's about asking people to look at the person next to them, and asking them to be kind."
Whether it's a charity, a songwriting session, a new book or a movie project, Stone isn't twisted up in knots about what she should or shouldn't do. "I'm in a real interesting period again. It's a real Zen period of caring and not caring…I don't care, because I don't care if I get there. If I never act again, I don't care. And yet, I'm excited about the next part. That's a terrific place to be," Stone says, once again reflective. "I was not surprised that the studio told me they liked my work in Catwoman. You know, I don't care if they liked me, and yet I care deeply if I did my very best. I have no need to be liked. I have no need to pander. I have nothing to prove, and yet I absolutely would only do my best. So I will probably do my better work."
Every red-blooded male in America hopes she gets that chance.
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