A producer told Sharon Stone to sleep with Basic Instinct co-star for better chemistry

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Sharon Stone IMDb LIVE Presented By M&M'S At The Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party
Sharon Stone attends IMDb LIVE Presented By M&M'S At The Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party on February 09, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for IMDb)

In her new memoir, The Beauty of Living Twice, Sharon Stone opened up about what it was like to film the 1992 erotic thriller Basic Instinct.

In an excerpt published in Vanity Fair, the actor, 63, describes a “terrifying” experience, writing, “The role was by far the most stretching that I had ever done in terms of considering the dark side of myself.

“It was terrifying. I had walked in my sleep three times during production, twice waking fully dressed in my car in my garage. I had hideous nightmares.”

Sharon Stone The Beauty of Living Twice

Stone also talks about how she had no idea how exposed her genitals would be in the now famous uncrossed-legs scene where lead Michael Douglas first meets her character, Catherine Tramell.

“After we shot Basic Instinct, I got called in to see it,' she writes. “Not on my own with the director, as one would anticipate, given the situation that has given us all pause, so to speak, but with a room full of agents and lawyers, most of whom had nothing to do with the project.

Sharon Stone 3rd Annual Kiehl's Since 1851 LifeRide For amfAR
Sharon Stone at Kiehl's Since 1851 Georgetown on July 20, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Getty Images)

“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.’

“I went to the projection booth, slapped [director] Paul [Verhoeven] across the face, left, went to my car, and called my lawyer, Marty Singer,” Stone continued. “Marty told me that they could not release this film as it was. That I could get an injunction. First, at that time, this would give the film an X rating. Remember, this was 1992, not now, when we see erect penises on Netflix. 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.

Sharon Stone amfAR Milano 2012 - Cocktail Reception
Sharon Stone attends the amfAR Milano 2012 Cocktail Recepion during Milan Fashion Week at La Permanente on September 22, 2012 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Getty Images)

“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?”

“Sharon is lying,” Verhoeven, 82, said in 2017. “Any actress knows what she’s going to see if you ask her to take off her underwear and point there with the camera.”

Sharon Stone Premiere Of RADiUS-TWC's "Lovelace" - Red Carpet
Sharon Stone arrives at the premiere of RADiUS-TWC's “Lovelace” at the Egyptian Theatre on August 5, 2013 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Getty Images)

Stone also describes the sexist treatment she was subject to in the lead-up to making Basic Instinct, being told by a producer that “I should fuck my costar so that we could have onscreen chemistry.”

The actor uses her stories to stand up for all actors who have felt harassed and violated on set, writing, “I know that all of these women and men who have been harassed, been raped, had their jobs held for ransom, and been sexually tormented deserve their day in court. I know that to be true. I know that all of the unprocessed rape kits on police shelves everywhere must be processed so that crimes can be solved. This inaction is a true and real crime in itself.”

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