Basic Instinct director Paul Verhoeven is responding to Sharon Stone’s claim she was duped into removing her underwear for the 1992 film’s infamous leg-crossing interrogation scene.
“My memory is radically different from Sharon’s memory,” the Dutch filmmaker told Variety when asked about Stone’s memoir revelation.
Verhoeven said Stone “knew exactly what we were doing,” when they filmed the scene. “I told her it was based on a story of a woman that I knew when I was a student who did the crossing of her legs without panties regularly at parties. When my friend told her we could see her vagina, she said, ‘Of course, that’s why I do it.’ Then Sharon and I decided to do a similar sequence.”
He said Stone’s version in The Beauty of Living Twice “does not stand in the way and has nothing to do with the wonderful way that she portrayed Catherine Tramell. She is absolutely phenomenal.”
Verhoeven added, “We still have a pleasant relationship and exchange text messages. But her version is impossible.”
Stone wrote in her book that she was directed to remove her underwear for the film’s famous scene under the pretense it would not be visible on film. However, that wasn’t the case, obviously, and she spoke to her attorney about taking legal action to prevent the release of the film which saw her sharing the screen with Michael Douglas.
She was watching an early screening of the film with a room of agents and lawyers when “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 remembered. “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**t.”
Stone said that she went to the projection booth and slapped Verhoeven across the face and immediately called her lawyer Marty Singer. While they discussed getting an injunction, she said “Then I thought some more. What if I were the director? What if I had gotten that shot? What if I had gotten it on purpose? Or by accident? What if it just existed? That was a lot to think about. I knew what film I was doing. For heaven’s sake, I fought for that part, and all that time, only this director had stood up for me. I had to find some way to become objective.”
She said she ultimately “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.”
Stone did fight for the part, she detailed in her book. While the film turned her into one of Hollywood’s biggest sex symbols, then she was relatively unknown save for her role in Total Recall — also directed by Verhoeven. She spent seven or eight months trying to get a screen test for the role and landed the part only after it was offered to 12 other actresses.
Stone said while playing the role of her serial killer character, she suffered “hideous nightmares” and episodes of sleepwalking, “twice waking fully dressed in my car in my garage.” And while shooting the opening ice pick stabbing sequence, there was a moment where she feared she killed the actor (he passed out from her hitting his chest so many times). She also said she endured disrespectful treatment behind the scenes, detailing how a producer called her by the wrong name during the production and reminded her she was “the thirteenth choice for this film.”
Stone has certainly embraced the role, playing Catherine Tramell again in 2006 for the sequel from another director.
Just last month Stone — in the headlines this week after being linked to 25-year-old rapper RMR — shared a photo of herself to Instagram in which she was wearing a T-shirt with her famous character on it.
“Been there, done that; got the T-Shirt,” she wrote.
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