What the Hell Happened to Sharon Stone?
Hollywood is a treacherous place. It take a certain kind of person to make it as an actor. But however hard actors have it, actresses have it that much worse. For an actress to make it in Hollywood, well, they have to be strong. Some might even say they need to be made of stone (Get it? I’m sorry. I couldn’t resist.) Whatever it takes to climb to the top of the A-list, Sharon Stone had it in spades. She had the looks, the talent, the determination and she was more than a little crazy.
For a time, Stone was the among the highest-paid actresses in Hollywood. She had the power to get a project green-lit. She could choose her directors and co-stars. Stone was A-list. But her time atop the A-list ended quickly. As the 90’s ended, Stone’s spotlight faded with it.
What the hell happened?
When Sharon Stone finally took Hollywood by storm, it seemed like she was an overnight sensation. But that was not the case. The truth is that Stone had a long uphill climb to the top. She fought tooth and nail for years to make it in Hollywood. Sharon Stone started off as a model and a beauty pageant contestant. She was a contemporary of Michelle Pfeiffer.
The two models bonded while auditioning for the role of an extra in Woody Allen’s 1980 comedy-drama, Stardust Memories. Stone got the role. But Pfeiffer’s acting career would take off while Stone’s languished.
Stardust Memories is one of Woody Allen’s favorite of his own films. But pretty much anyone who isn’t Woody Allen hates it. Although Allen denies that it was his intent, the movie plays like the director telling off his fans.
The image of a young Stone in glorious black and white blowing kisses from a train is a memorable one. I also liked the bit where the aliens told Woody they liked his earlier, funny movies better.
In 1981, Stone appeared in Wes Craven’s horror movie, Deadly Blessings.
The movie takes place on a farm in a rural community. The locals are extremely religious and distrusting of outsiders. One day, the farmer is killed by a mysterious figure who runs him over with his own tractor. Stone played one of the widow’s friends who helps her deal with the mysterious killings.
In one scene, Stone’s character has a nightmare about having a spider forced into her mouth. The scene was filmed using a real spider. Stone initially refused to do the scene until the spider had been defanged. The crew was reluctant to comply as it would make it difficult for the spider to eat going forward. But eventually, the spider’s teeth were removed and Stone filmed the scene.
Reviews were mostly negative and Academy Award-winner Ernest Borgnine was nominated for a Razzie award for “Worst Supporting Actor”. Wes Craven was still honing his craft, but there are hints of the horror master to come.
In 1982, Stone appeared in a TV movie called Not Just Another Affair and had a guest spot on the TV sit-com Silver Spoons. Check out Stone’s entrance on the choo choo:
As a working model, Stone also popped up in a ton of commercials throughout the 1980’s shampoo commercial featuring Stone from 1982.
Stone plays a business woman who also looks fabulous playing tennis. Sometimes she needs a little Finesse. Sometimes she needs a lot.