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.

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 pagent contestant.  She was a contemporary of Michelle Pfeiffer.  The two models bonded while auditioning for the role of an extra in Woody Allen’s 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.

Stone paid her dues the hard way. On Silver Spoons.

While Pfeiffer was paying her dues in Grease 2, Stone was relegated to guest roles on TV shows like Silver Spoons, Remington Steele and Magnum PI.  By 1985, Pfeiffer had done Scarface and Ladyhawke.  But Stone was still stuck on TV with parts on shows like TJ Hooker.

“I grope all the guest stars. Get used to it. Just don’t touch the hair!”

In 1985, Stone finally got the opportunity to break away from TV.  Unfortunately, it came in the form of a low budget action franchise that deliberately ripped off the Indiana Jones films.

King Solomon’s Mines was loosely adapted from the novel of the same name to capitalize on the success of Raiders of the Lost Ark.  Richard Chamberlain was cast as a poor man’s Harrison Ford and Stone played his love interest.

In a bit of a gamble, the producers of King Solomon’s Mines filmes a sequel simultaneously.  The double-down didn’t pay off.  King Solomon’s Mines flopped.

The following year, saw the release of Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold.  The King Solomon’s Mines sequel got all the fanfare you would expect for a sequel to a movie most people had never heard of.

Stone did get some recognition for her role.  She was nominated for her first Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress of the Year.  Ultimately, she lost to Madonna.  But I’m sure it was an honor just to be nominated.

When the Allan Quatermain films flopped in back-to-back years, Stone went back to paying her dues.  But at least she was paying her dues on the big screen.  In 1987, she appeared in Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol.

I know what you are thinking.  Police Academy 4?  Really?  Is that any better than Silver Spoons or TJ Hooker?

Well, before you get too judgemental, Police Academy 4 was the last film in the series to feature Steve Guttenberg.  If it’s good enough for the Gute, we shouldn’t be turning our noses up at it.  I’m sure we can all agree that the series didn’t fully come off the rails until Police Academy 5: Even the Gute Said “No”.

In 1988, Stone appeared in a couple of low budget action films I have personally never seen.  The first was Action Jackson.  Action Jackson wasCarl Weathers’ bid to turn his Rocky role into a legitimate movie career.  That went about as well as you would expect from a movie called Action Jackson starring Apollo Creed..

She also appeared in the Steven Seagal film, Above the Law.  Bearing in mind that I have never seen a Steven Seagal film that I have liked, I’m tempted to go back and try to catch this one.  It is generally regarded as one of the movies that made Seagal a star.  And director Andrew Davis went on to direct The Fugitive.  Of course, Davis also went on to direct the dreadful Chain Reaction, so maybe The Fugitive was just a lucky break.

Although Above the Law helped to catapult Seagal to stardom (or at least Seagal’s B-grade action hero version of it), it didn’t do a lot for Stone.  In 1989, Michelle Pfeiffer was wowing the critics in The Fabulous Baker Boys.  But Stone was still stuck in crap like Beyond the Stars and Blood and Sand.

Next: Total Recall and Basic Instinct

Posted on January 8, 2012, in Movies, What the Hell Happened?, WTHH Actress and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 169 Comments.

  1. Stone just never appealed much to me as an actress.
    I never felt like she was particularly terrible. All those razzy nominations could easily have been shared with the screenwriters.

    Like many performers, she needed strong, appropriate material to show off what she could do. “Casino” was that, and she did decent work in it. She certainly tried to do what was best for her career and develop it for her mature years, but it just never really happened for her.

    This was in large part due to her limited range as an actress.


  2. “The Quick & The Dead” is definitely a bit of a guilty pleasure. That has very little to do with Stone’s performance in it, but I have to give her props for helping to get it made.


    • Yeah, Quick and the Dead could have been a classic. Great cast. Talented director. I love Raimi! But the script was weak. Raimi tried to hide the lack of narrative with his camera tricks. But ultimately, it wasn’t enough.

      I share your assessment of Stone. But I’ll give her credit for being a very appealing on screen presence. In the right role, she demanded your attention. I actually think if she had tried less hard to be taken seriously and just made more B-grade action movies like The Specialist, she might have lasted longer on the A-list. But she always had an expiration date. As soon as her looks faded, it was over.


      • The CineFiles: The Most Disappointing Films & An Important Message From Your Host:

        “The Quick & the Dead” is the third movie that’s mentioned. More to the point, Sharon Stone’s performance in particular was criticized (mostly for her apparent overacting).


        • I haven’t watched the clip. But I disagree that Stone overacted. I thought she was good in the movie. It had other flaws, but Stone was fine.


        • 10 Actors Who Were Horribly Mismatched To Their Character Professions:


          9. Sharon Stone – Gunslinger (The Quick and the Dead)

          Sam Raimi’s The Quick and the Dead is an obvious B-movie western parody, for sure, but it still might’ve helped if our lead actress hadn’t been so unconvincing in her role as a badass gunslinger. Granted, Stone tries her best with this one, I guess, and maybe it’s hard to accept her as a character of this type because – plainly put – we’re not accustomed to seeing female western heroes, but it mostly always feels like she’s Sharon Stone in a hat.

          Maybe the problem here is that they made Stone far too sexy, when – in reality – you imagine any woman who spends her time drifting from town to town having sex and murdering mostly everyone she meets would look like a sack of [expletive]. The western genre need to convince us of its historical setting, even with B-movie aesthetics, and I just don’t think Stone knew what to do with her character. Alas, I remain unconvinced that she could kill Gene Hackman in a gunfight.


  3. Interesting to read her history. Though, to be honest, I only ever know of her from Basic Instinct.


    • I doubt most people could name two Sharon Stone movies. If they did, I bet the second one would be Total Recall.

      Basic Instinct is almost the sum total of Stone’s career.

      Glad you liked the article. Thanks for reading!


      • The only 3 movies I’ve seen Stone in are Bobby, Casino and Lovelace. But I was a kid during her Basic Instinct and Silver days so that explains it.

        She was actually one of the standouts in Bobby for me. Her scenes with Demi Moore were well played. I think Stone might be a braver actress than some people who remember her only from her sexpot roles might expect. She certainly isn’t afraid to look old or bad in front of the camera.


        • I agree. She seems to really enjoy doing character work now that her A-list days are behind her. I was really taken aback by her performance in Lovelace. I had no idea it was her until I read the credits.


      • Oh btw, great site! I really enjoyed reading the articles, especially the WTHH ones. I like that they focus more on the movies and career choices made with the personal stuff added only when they are relevant to the subject’s career trajectory.


        • Glad you like it. The career is definitely the focus around here. I never follow the tabloid stuff. The only reason I include it at all is that if I don’t, people start pointing it out in the comments section. So it really only comes up when it is absolutely essential to understanding the big picture.


  4. Never thought too much about Stone. Possibly the overexposure she received during her best years turned me off. I remember her in Total Recall and Basic Instinct. I think you nailed this one…she got old.


  5. Sharon Stone had the classic supernova career, burning very brightly for a short period and then fading away. Like everyone else I’d struggle to name two or three of her films outside of Basic Instinct and as you rightly point out, the industry is brutal to ladies once they pass a certain age.

    You really opened my eyes with some of her back story in this article. I hadn’t realised she’d tried to break into a movie career for so long and I also wasn’t aware of her association with Michelle Pfeiffer in their early days.
    You can add Sharon’s name to the long list of her contemporaries that Michelle has comfortably outlasted.


    • I chose Stone as a subject for a few reasons. The biggest reason was that the Mel Gibson article took a long time, so I wanted someone whose career could be summarized rather quickly. Stone fits that bill. She had a one movie peak and then a quick fall from grace. Also, I knew she had a reputation for being a little daffy (no offense to Mr. Stardust or Mr. Duck.) So, I thought there might be some good stories to dig up.

      The nutty stories weren’t as juicy as I hoped. But I was entertained to find out about the early bonding with Michelle Pfeiffer. I would never have linked the two because in my mind Stone came on the scene in the late 80s and Pfeiffer arrived nearly a decade before that. But they actually started in much the same place. It really highlights Pfeiifer’s amazing longevity!

      I was also more than a little entertained by the quasi-rivalry between Stone and Madonna at the Rassies. And the stories about Basic Instinct and Quick and the Dead were interesting. Once I found out she had so many moderately interesting hooks and could be written up much more quickly than Mel Gibson (or my next subject), Sharon Stone moved to the top of my list.


  6. stone did good with basic instinct and total recall from paul verhoeven. she also did good in the specialist.


  7. what about Alpha Dog?


  8. You are so RIGHT ON with the things you express. . . I am a big movie appreciator and watch all different kinds of films. I like your taste in films and talent as well. I love Albert Brooks, still one of my all time favorites, is Defending Your Life, and his acting in Broastcast News. I so miss William Hurt from the A-list of actors, great actor.

    And once again, you have a great writing personality!! I read a lot, you are so quick witted, and insightful, while leaving a touch of class, in describing the challenges that exist in the Entertainment field.

    First Bog I have subscribed too as well, you are just too much fun to read, and you do your homework! Kudos keep writing, you are a writer. 8)


    • I’m glad you subscribed and will be sticking around. I’m not used to people telling me I’m right!

      I miss William Hurt too, but at least he still works. I agree with you about Albert Brooks. He’s criminally under-rated! Don’t get me started on how his voice work saved Finding Nemo. Loved Broadcast News. I wish it had a bigger place in movie history. Great film.


  9. whoops, I meant Broadcast News. . 8)


  10. A little sad you left out her role in “Irreconcilable Differences.” Not a great film, but I thought she was quite memorable in it, particularly when she belted out that the Civil War wasn’t going to get her down.


  11. When are we gonna see What the Hell Happened to Cuba Gooding Jnr? Have you seen The Devil’s Tomb?? And this guy won an Oscar!!


  12. andymovieman

    the specialist was good to see stone and stallone together in that action flick.


    • I have to admit, I am not a Stallone fan. I rewatched Demolition Man a few weeks ago and I have been meaning to write a bit about the experience. I am amazed that Stallone had as big of a career as he did. I really do not see the appeal. Especially in the 90s when he was coasting on fumes of his earlier success. Stone was still a hot commodity at the time The Specialist was released although her star was fading fast. She was doing less nudity as she was trying to transition into a serious actress. But her shower scene here helped give Stallone a hit when he needed it. It helped keep them both afloat a little while longer I think.


  13. well stallone is back on top of the box office and i hope expendables 2 will be a hit.


    • I don’t know if I would say he’s on top of the box office. But Expendables was a very impressive late career come back commercially speaking. I admit, I had written him off some time in the 90s. I never expected to be talking about his career in the present tense in the 21st century. Should give all the other (male?) WTHH candidates hope. If Stallone can stage a resurgence at this point in his career, they can to.


  14. talk about kurt russell he needs hope.


  15. Stone never was much of an actress and she was already 34 when “Basic Instinct” was released.


  16. Beautiful woman, and a talented actress. But she is a textbook example of a one-hit-wonder. I didn’t realize til looking at boxofficemojo how badly all of her star vehicles bombed. Looking back, it’s actually surprising that she got a stream of A-list roles for 7 years after Basic Instinct, with one flop after another. But at this point, who cares? Sharon was very prolific in the 90s, and most of the movies she did were super fun. Sliver, The Specialist, The Quick and The Dead, Last Dance, Diabolique, Sphere, The Mighty, and Gloria (super underrated movie!) are all very entertaining, in my opinion.


    • I have to admit, I haven’t actually seen most of the films you listed. I did recently rewatch Quick and the Dead and it was even more fun than I remembered. But Sphere was a mess. And Sliver was watered down Basic Instinct. If you like stone, you should check out The Muse. It’s one of her better movies.


      • I prefer Sliver to Basic Instinct. Michael Douglas seemed out of place in BI. He was and looked too old, and this was most apparent in the disco scene.

        The Muse is the only movie with Stone from the 90s I haven’t seen (i’ve even seen the 4 direct-to-videos she did in 1991 right before BI, because a Stone fan uploaded them all on YouTube). Unless they’ve been taken down, Diabolique and Gloria are still on there–I reccomend them (for Stone fans; not everyone’s cup of tea).


        • I haven’t seen either one in years. I have seen BI more recently. And I don’t think it has aged well. These days, it plays better as straight-up comedy, which may have been what Verhoven intended. It’s so hard to tell sometimes with that guy.

          I saw Sliver in the theater and didn’t think much of it. Haven’t seen it since. Maybe I’ll check it out again next time it comes on cable.

          The Muse is an Albert Brooks movie. Odds are you either like Brooks or you don’t. If you don’t, you probably won’t like The Muse any better than any of Brooks’ other movies. It’s not one of his best films. But it is good and Stone is great in it.


  17. You guys are out to lunch!!! Sharon stones career was completely sold by Casino. I don’t care about basic instinct or any other movie you mentioned in this blog. I’ve watched Casino like 10 times in the last week. I can’t stop and don’t tell me it’s all de Niro and Pesci she sold her role beautifully. This was hands down Stone’s best film performance without question. Please you need to watch the movie again if your review was that it was “ok”


    • It’s definately her greatest performance. She was remarkable in The Mighty, Gloria, and Bobby as well, but not many went to see those films. She’ll always be best known for Basic Instinct, which is unfortunate because it’s a piece of crap movie. Of course a relentless self-promoter like Stone would prefer to be famous for that rather than not being famous at all.


    • Casino was a boring, overlong piece of garbage.


      • I only saw it once. I think you’re being harsh. But I do remember being disappointed. I was hoping for something more like Goodfellas.


      • That was sort of the problem with CASINO; it was little more than a drawn-out-to-the-point-of-dull remake of GOODFELLAS. Didn’t like it at all. I like that Sharon Stone was finally recognized with an Oscar–in spite of a lot of the wretched movies in which she lands, she has talent to burn–but the movie itself was a big step down from GOODFELLAS.


        • I keep meaning to rewatch it to see if it fares better on second viewing. Back then, there was no way for me to separate it from Goodfellas which was very fresh in my mind. It falls far short of that standard, but lots of films do.

          I have never motivated myself to sit through it again. Which probably says something. I agree that Stone did have a lot of wasted talent.


    • Sharon Stone in Casino:


      Sharon Stone received her only Best Actress nomination to date for playing Ginger, a prostitute who becomes the wife of the mobster Sam ‘Ace’ Rothstein. Although Stone won the Golden Globe for her performance, I don’t think she was such a serious contender as she didn’t receive a nomination from her fellow SAG members. I suppose if Sarandon had already been an Oscar winner, Sharon could have built up enough momentum to win the Oscar – she was a great star turning in a great performance in a Scorsese movie and so on. I suppose in the end she was second after Sarandon.

      Casino, just like Leaving Las Vegas, is a masterpiece and much better than any of the five nominated Pictures. Although it’s not as amazing as Goodfellas (what can be), it’s so mindblowingly great. Everything is so perfect about it that I actually find it extremely hard to believe that its only nomination came for Stone. The cinematography, art direction, costumes, editing and most of all, the directing – brilliant. De Niro is fantastic as Ace and I’m kind of stunned that she was snubbed during award season. The movie itself has such a depressing, paranoid atmosphere, you just feel that in this world, you just cannot trust anyone and this uncertainty that makes this film so effective.

      If we asked people on the street what they think about when Sharon Stone’s name comes up, very few would say Casino. She’s best remembered for her iconic role Catherine Tramell in Basic Instinct, where she so infamously proved that (unlike Hot Lips) she’s a natural blonde. Then again we are reminded that she’s in fact an Academy Award nominee and surprisingly, it wasn’t for Basic Instinct, but Casino, a gangster film by Scorsese.

      Performances as wives of famous man or gangsters is something very much welcome at the Academy Award thought extremely rarely in the leading category. I’m sure that if the part of Ginger had been played by a lesser-known actress, she would have been campaigned in the supporting category or if Sharon played it now in 2012 with Harvey Weinstein as a producer, she could start writing her speech for her Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. That being said, Ginger is a very important character in the story of Casino but I wouldn’t swear that the movie wouldn’t be the same thing without her – she fulfills all the criteria of s supporting player: she doesn’t steal the spotlight from the lead, she doesn’t have much screen-time, but has a lasting effect on the movie in her scenes. However, in Stone’s case that effect is so strong that I couldn’t claim that she’s not a co-lead at least. She uses lots of her charisma, sexiness and star power in a part that Madonna was intended to play.

      In the beginning, we get to see a beautiful, hot, intelligent and very confident prostitute, working in Las Vegas. Unlike Sera from Leaving Las Vegas, Ginger successfully avoids devastating circumstances with the help of her wit and her looks. No wonder Ace is instantly mesmerized by her, she’s attractive in every possible way a person can be and she’s indeed a woman to go crazy for. Stone gradually reveals the dark side of Ginger and boy, is it impressive! She’s just amazing in the scene at the wedding party: on the surface, she’s a happy bride but two minutes later she’s a broken-down woman crying on the telephone to her former pimp. It’s interesting that Stone made very different decisions with this character: here, she holds herself back, she’s mostly subtle and as Ginger starts going downhill she goes more and more over the top.

      The only thing that’s working against her is her masterful movie. Starring in masterpieces is a very tough thing for the actor, as it clearly overshadows the merits of the performances. It doesn’t help, either that she’s barely on the screen for a very long time. With a supporting character that would have been fine, but you would expect a lead to be fully in charge of the film. Nevertheless, that’s the most negative thing I can say about Sharon and I must also add that none of it is her fault as once she’s back, she’s dynamite.

      Ginger is not a Carmela Soprano type of character who tries to turn a blind eye on her husband’s activities but inside guilt is just killing her. Far from it: Ginger actively participates in all the action, she doesn’t even try to hide her greed. She knows what she’s entitled to and she’s willing to get it by all means. Stone brilliantly emphasizes how immoral and greedy this woman is, to her it’s no big deal to smoke coke in front of her daughter or ordering her lover to kill her husband instantly.

      Ginger’s not a typical (movie) addict, either. Stone doesn’t want us to feel any sympathy for her, she shows her as the pathetic, broken-down junkie that she really is. I kept being amazed at how well Sharon was able to keep control of her character that was diving deeper and deeper into chaos. On IMDb message boards, I’ve read many complaints about how Stone overplayed Ginger and her whole overacting ruined the movie – in my opinion, that’s the biggest praise that she could get. Stone simply kills the movie with her destructive energy and makes it a truly unpleasant experience.

      This is the reason Sharon’s scenes with James Woods are just amazing: she’s lost almost everything and these moments brilliantly show how much Ginger is tied to her past. ‘Once a hooker, always a hooker’ yells Ace after a really ugly fight with Ginger. Sharon’s varied greatness shows one simple thing: Ginger is incapable of changing. She has calmer, more quiet periods but there comes another breakdown, another night of cocaine and booze. Stone shows us a very painful and disturbing downfall of a woman.

      Eventually, in the highlight of Stone’s performance, Ginger attacks Ace and has a huge breakdown in front of their house: Sharon displays all the emotions of Ginger in a way that we get a brief summary of the character in those few minutes. Although it’s true that she’s one step away from totally ruining the character, she was so in control of her that she remains as fantastic as she was previously.

      Another 1995 lady, another terrific performance. Sharon Stone gives a brutal, chaotic and disturbing performance as Ginger in Casino. She gets rid of all her vanity, glamour and sexiness in the process of creating a living piece of junk. Although the downfall of this woman is very hard to watch, Sharon makes it a wonderful experience, thanks to her wonderful talent, her intelligence and confidence. Excellent work.


  18. “How I wish I lived in a world where Albert Brooks was more popular than Adam Sandler.”

    You & me both, pal!


  19. Thanks for writing this. I just was thinking about Sharon Stone the other day. I knew of Basic Instinct and that movie with the Baldwin (now I remember it is Billy).


  20. I just noticed that, after she became hot, all she did were R-rated movies for six years. Sphere was her first PG-13 movie since becoming a star, and she was already on her way down by then. Maybe that was one of her mistakes, and a mistake that some other actresses made. R rated movies don’t do as well at the box office as the PG-13’s.


    • I think the idea was that if you cast Stone, the movie had better be an R. If I remember correctly, post -BI the movies in which Stone did nudity were hits and the ones in which she did not were usually disappointments. (Casino being an obvious exception). That’s probably a gross over-generalization. But I think that’s kind of how Hollywood and audiences saw her at the time.

      One of the recurring themes of these articles is actors or actresses strugling to reinvent their images. Stone obviously knew she couldn’t play erotic thrillers forever. She tried early and often to branch out. But audiences and casting agents weren’t especially interested in seeing her do other stuff.

      To me, The Muse is the best example of what else Stone was capable of. She turns in a terrific light comic performance. I really wish she had done more like that. But The Muse was not a hit.


  21. Based on the comments that I read on Sharon Stone’s IMDb board, perhaps Sharon was partially hurt by the fact that she got her break break (“Basic Instinct”) relatively late (she was about 34 years old when that movie was made/released). One could therefore, argue that usually women who are lacking in real talent and known primarily for the way the look have to get their breaks in the early-mid twenties to make anything happen. It’s also a fair assessment that she owes a great deal of her success (just like Molly Ringwald w/ John Hughes or Michael Keaton w/ Ron Howard and Tim Burton for example) to Paul Verhoeven.

    Maybe another part of Sharon’s problem is that sometime after she became popular, she completely focused on being a character actress (perhaps, that could in part explain her cutting her hair really short) and totally forgot about her physical outlook. Then again, after “Basic Instinct”, she sort of got marked as a femme fatale and more than likely, nobody wanted to see her in different type of roles anyway.

    Ultimately, Sharon didn’t really have that many hits and/or critical success post-“Basic Instinct” to justify her leading lady credentials.


    • If Stone had gotten her big break earlier, she could have worked the femme fatale angle longer than she did. But she was bored with that almost immediately after BI and Sliver. She probably would have had more chances at establishing herself as a dramatic actress. But I think what sunk her was that most of her post BI movies just weren’t all that good.


  22. 6 Crazy Hollywood Stories You Probably Haven’t Heard (Bonus story available on The Chive):


    Basic Instinct grossed over $350 Million and made Sharon Stone a household name. Basic’s writer, Joe Eszterhas wrote a tell-all book about the film Hollywood Animal in which he writes of Sharon,

    “(Stone) was so despised by co-workers that on one of her films, crew members took turns urinating in her bathtub.”


  23. Mathew Buck’s “Bad Movie Beatdown” of “The Specialist”:

    Mathew notes early on in his review that Sharon Stone besides “The Specialist” has seemingly spent half of her career appearing “in the buff”.


    • I haven’t charted this, but from Basic Instinct on I’m pretty sure that most of her hits include some nudity and most of her flops don’t. Casino is the only exception that comes to mind off the top of my head. Was she nude in BI2? Do I want the answer to that?


  24. Stone was too old when she became famous. I never understood why people thought she was beautiful in that trash flick “Basic Isntinct”. I thought she looked her age, and almost like a borderline transexual in some scenes.


    • I’ll respectfully disagree. I rewatched Quick and the Dead recently and thought she was pretty damn hot in that. And that was several years after BI.

      But her age was definitely a factor in ending her time on the A-list.


      • Age is always a factor, but she didn’t do anything to counteract it. She cut her hair very short when she was about 38 (the same time that 20something actresses like Diaz, Paltrow, Ryder, Theron and Jolie did, but while it made them look sophisticated it made Stone look like a soccer mom), always talked openly about her age (I’ve seen so many interviews where she just voluntarily said how old she was and wasn’t even asked), smiled too big which showed the lines around her mouth, and took roles where she was co-starring with old guys like Stallone, DeNiro, Douglas, Schwarzenegger, Brooks, Hoffman, which didn’t make her seem any younger.

        I’m not saying *that* is why she had such a brief career as a star, but she might have had more longevity if she played the game better. Kim Basinger is five years older than Stone and was A-list into her late 40s (thanks to her L.A. Confidential comeback). You could argue that she was simply luckier (which she was, earlier) but around 1993 these two had about equal status. Basinger took roles that made her look good (i.e. young and sexy) while Stone did almost the opposite, trying to prove she had talent and disregarding the fact that talent had nothing to do with why she became famous. Even in her two steamiest movies, Basic Instinct and Sliver, it was mentioned in the script that she was a 30something. They should have kept her age ambiguous.


        • All very true. I hadn’t really thought about that before. But Stone really was up front about her age. And probably suffered for it.

          Stone says and does a lot of kooky things. But, don’t you find it just a bit refreshing that she didn’t bend over backwards to hide her age?


      • Yes it was refreshing, because in the pre-internet era it really did make an impact if an actress put her age out there like that. Raquel Welch claimed that being upfront about her age ruined her career. When RQ turned 40 she talked about it everywhere, then got was fired from Cannery Row for being too old (she claims).

        There are so many nutty stories about Stone. She’s always making an ass out of herself. It’s amusing, though.


        • I came across the Raquel Welch/Cannery Row story writing the Debra Winger article. The producers claim she was taking too long to prepare to shoot each day. I can see how both things would appear to be true. She takes a long time getting ready in the morning (which presumably takes longer than it did when she was younger). When she gets axed she perceives it to be about age. And maybe it was.

          As a result they got sued and paid a settlement plus they got stuck with a notorious Hollywood hothead.

          As for Stone, I’m with you. I find her nuttiness entertaining.


  25. Stone’s age was already a problem as early as “The Specialist”. It was ridiculous how she was supposed to have watched her parents get killed as a child, when Stone and Eric Roberts were clearly the same age.


    • Stallone and Roberts should have switched roles, then it would have made sense.

      And about Michael Douglas being “replaced” for the sequel not helping matters….well, as bad as that movie was, it would have been even more stupid if he was in it. Douglas was almost 50 when he made the first one, and was a dinosaur when the sequel was made. There was no place for him in it.


      • That’s true. The truth is, they just shouldn’t have made a BI 2. My point was that Douglas contributed a lot to the success of the original and the new leading man left a lot to be desired. Realistically, the sequel was a cash grab that came way too late for anyone to care.


      • Stone had nothing to lose by the time of BI2, so who can blame her for doing it. She was reportedly paid $13.6 million(!!!!!), which is baffling considering that the most she’d ever gotten before that was $6 million for Last Dance a decade earlier. Apparently she was also very into the sex scenes and wanted to do more nudity than the producers wanted her to.


      • It would have been better if Eric Roberts and James Woods had switched roles in “The Specialist”. At least Woods was a decade older than Stone.


        • I have heard versions of this before. And I must plead ignorance up front as I have never watched The Specialist all the way through. But from what I have seen of the movie, the ages of the characters never bothered me. It’s a ridiculous movie. Rod Steiger’s accent struck me as the most absurd thing about it.


  26. Note aside, she was really good in the independent film “Five Dollars a Day.” I don’t regret watching it, so fans of hers should check it out.


  27. I’m amazed “Basic Instinct II” was ever made at all, as Stone was already too old in the first film and the police would have solved the case using DNA.


    • Do you go by the handle “JuanMacready” on YouTube? I’ve seen your comments before. Douglas was too old, not Stone. You should be attacking him. If Mel Gibson had played the male lead no one would be complaining.


      • Stone was too old though. She was like 35.


      • Wow, “like 35″? What an ancient artifact she was!


      • Technically she was 33. But co-starring with old guys is a big mistake for an actress who becomes famous in her mid-30s.

        Had she been in her 20s and co-starring with guys in their 40s, maybe it wouldn’t have mattered. But 30s and 50s…can’t find a good word to describe it, but it just doesn’t translate sexiness to the screen.

        A counterexample would be Kim Basinger. The older she got, the younger her leading men got. As I said in a previous comment, she played it smart. Or maybe she just got more flattering offers because she retained her youthful beauty.


    • 15 Career-Ending Movies:


      Catwoman & Basic Instinct 2

      Career Ruined: Sharon Stone

      As sadistic as Americans are, we are also pathological optimists. An actor will always get precisely one shot at redemption every decade. So after the reality-warping awfulness of Catwoman which featured Halle Berry lazily beating up baddies while quite seriously uttering lines like “What a purrrrrrrfect idea”, audiences were willing to give both her and villain Sharon Stone another chance.

      Halle Berry responded with Gothika and “Remember guys, I was in Monster’s Ball.” Sharon Stone responded with Basic Instinct 2: a film that tried to recapture the original’s danger and raw sexuality. While it succeeded somewhat, Basic Instinct 2 suffered from a terminal case of “bitch be old now” syndrome. What was edgy in the early 90s makes audiences raised on internet porn yawn with boredom. And though Sharon Stone is impressively hot for pushing 50, the raw, energetic sexuality had given way to something that was just sinister and boring.




      • Having Sharon Stone reprise her role as an annoyingly fatale-ish femme, without wrapping her in the irony that director Paul Verhoeven brought to the original

      • Staging ridiculous sex scenes, designed to show off Stone’s surgically enhanced, trainer-toned, thoroughly un-sexy android body

      • Packing all its shock and fizz into an opening sequence that has Stone masturbating while racing through the streets of London in a car with her drug-addict athlete lover, then settling in for two hours of not much


      • Shameful Sequels: Basic Instinct 2:

        zzzzzzZZZZZZZzzzzzzZZZZZZZ… plus some Nerdquest stuff at the end!


        • So Bad, It’s Horrible – Television Tropes & Idioms:


          A leaked trailer for Basic Instinct 2 promised the same level of sleazy entertainment as the first, with images of lurid and deviant sexual encounters. Not only did the final print not have these scenes, but it was also boring with painful acting and an ending that boggled the mind. Oh, and you don’t get to see Sharon Stone’s snatch, in case you were wondering. MikeJ gives his review of Basic Instinct 2 for Shameful Sequels.


        • 15 Laziest Movie Sequels Of All Time:


          1. Basic Instinct 2 (2006)

          Paul Verhoeven’s Basic Instinct entered the public consciousness when it was released in 1992, becoming famous for that leg-crossing scene and grossing over $350m at the box office. After over a decade in development hell, the sequel arrived looking to emulate that success. Unfortunately, it was essentially a redo of the original except nowhere near as entertaining.

          Switching the action to London and replacing Michael Douglas’ cop with David Morrisey’s psychiatrist, the story follows the template of the original almost to a tee as the man dealing with Sharon Stone’s Catherine Tramell becomes increasingly drawn into her web – to the detriment of his personal life and career. However, whereas Verhoeven’s visual flair elevated the ridiculousness of the original, the sequel is just plain awful.

          Basic Instinct 2 flopped hard, earning less than $40m against a $70m budget. Wisely, Michael Douglas opted not to return for the long-gestating follow-up, saying that the premise “had been done perfectly effectively” in the original. He was right, as this retread of the concept was sees Stone almost descend into self-parody amongst the clichéd and predictable story.


    • 15 Hollywood Comebacks That Didn’t Take (Maybe These Celebrities Find A Side Gig):


      The Basic Instinct star received a fine reception from audiences with supporting roles in Alpha Dog and Broken Flowers. Ironically, her return to the franchise that made her a star, Basic Instinct 2, informed the film industry her days as a big-screen leading lady seemed to be behind her.


      • Second Time’s (Not) A Charm: 15 Stars Who Messed Up Their Iconic Roles For Crappy Sequels:


        It is hard to quantify the failure that is Basic Instinct 2. The original film was a huge hit, making Sharon Stone an icon overnight. Produced 14 years after Basic Instinct, the sequel had Stone reprise her role as femme fatale Catherine Tramell. Thanks to a convoluted plot, the replacement of star Michael Douglas with English actor David Morissey, and Stone’s cougar-y take Tremel, the film was panned by critics and tanked at the box office, grossing back a little over $3 million of its $70 million budget.


      • Mr. Floppy 10.13.07: Basic Instinct 2:


        Year of the cock-up: 2006

        Budget: $70,000,000

        Domestic gross: $5,971,336

        Foreign gross: $32,658,142

        Worldwide gross: $38,629,478

        Up until the year 1992, no one knew the name of Sharon Stone. She was easily and regularly lost amidst the other dozens of blond bombshells. On her path to glory, she earned her chops in many obscure projects (Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol, Above the Law…). A very small break came when she starred as Arnold Schwarzenegger’s bitch of a wife in Total Recall. The sci-fi action flick was a big hit and Sharon Stone finally had a chance at achieving the desired stardom. And she did.

        Today, millions of people know her for her characteristic steel blue eyes, thick eyebrows, throaty voice and of course- her intimate parts. The first collaboration with Holland’s premiere director on Total Recall was a successful one, so Sharon Stone didn’t hesitate one second when she had the opportunity to work with him again. And with the interrogation scene in the original Basic Instinct, Sharon Stone and director Paul Verhoeven secured their place in movie history.
        After the premiere, Stone claimed she had no idea her vajayjay is going to be on screen and then continued to bash director Paul Verhoeven for showing us the infamous close-up. He claimed the opposite- i.e. Sharon knew about the shot. Regardless of which side was telling the truth, Sharon Stone’s career wouldn’t sky-rocket if that shot wasn’t included, since it was definitely THE thing people were talking about in Basic Instinct related conversations. The movie itself wasn’t half bad either and the star-power of Michael Douglas (ah, those were the days…) combined with controversy helped the movie to generate quite a lot of box office revenue. The lesbian and gay activists protested, but who cares, right? We saw the beaver, we saw some tits and some violence all wrapped up in a decent detective story- everyone was happy. Except the ever-greedy studio of course.
        Immediately after the success of the first Basic Instinct, studio heads started to think about squeezing out a sequel. Sharon Stone’s career however really took off and thus these ideas went nowhere. But only for the time being.

        It could (and should) have stayed that way, but then I would have one less movie to write about, so I guess it all somehow worked out in the end.

        The years went by, wrinkles accumulated on Sharon’s face and her acting career wasn’t in the best spot. After it reached the high-point with an Oscar nomination for Casino (a very much deserved one), there was only one way to go- down. Sphere, The Muse, Gloria, Simpatico- yes, it was hell alright for the once popular Sharon. No matter what roles she decided to accept- the effort always resulted in something below the average at best. So like all the broke former stars eventually do, she decided to do a sequel to her biggest hit and return to her most famous role. The clever Sharon even used the tried formula that she “was just waiting for the right script”. The studio was thrilled and negotiations started right away. They definitely should have known better.

        Sharon played her cards pretty smart-she agreed to reprise her role under “pay or play” arrangement, which meant that she’d got paid whether the movie would get made or not. Studio agreed, because after all, they knew they had a surefire hit on their hands and they were sure the film would get made. Eventually it would, but if they knew about the future complications, I’m sure they’d withdraw as soon as possible.

        The production was set to begin in 2000, but problems no one thought of suddenly surfaced. You see, the snag was, no actor with at least a bit of self-esteem agreed to participate as the male lead opposing the wrinkly Sharon. Ol’ Michael Douglas didn’t think about it even once, so a decent enough replacement was needed.

        Robert Downey Jr. was slated to participate, but fortunately for him, he was charged with drug possession. And they say drugs are bad for you. Do you think he would be in Iron Man next year if he took part in this? So yes, going to jail can sometimes be better for your acting career than to make a movie. After Downey dropped out, desperate producers started contacting anyone who had a dick and at least one half-decent movie on his track record. Viggo Mortensen, Benicio Del Toro, Aaron Eckhart, Kurt Russell, Harrison Ford, Pierce Brosnan and even f’n Bruce Greenwood all turned down this lucrative offer.

        Remember what I wrote about self-esteem? In walks Benjamin Bratt who obviously thought this is a can’t-miss opportunity, but unfortunately for him, the one willing actor was unfortunately also the one Sharon Stone wasn’t willing to roll around in bed with. Her motives remain unclear (maybe some problems on the set of Catwoman – a surefire future inductee), but she vetoed Bratt’s participation. My dear friends-when you’re rejected by a near 50 year old has-been after auditioning for a destined-to-fail sequel, your stock has hit an all-time low.

        Because of these shenanigans, the producers missed their February 2001 deadline to start shooting, so Sharon “Team Player” Stone filed a lawsuit against them, claiming 100 million dollars in damages. Obviously, this has been a happy collaboration for both sides. Three years later, the two parties settled their case off court and the movie was back in production. Why?
        Well, after all this time, the movie already cost the studio quite a bit, while not a single shot was made and the poor morons hoped they’d get their money back when Basic Instinct 2 would finally hit theaters.
        So unsurprisingly, it was all about being quick from that point forward. They hired Michael Caton-Jones to direct, and dragged the first bum that happened to be around the studio building to act as the male lead. With that, David Morrissey was in, but unfortunately for any potential moviegoer, he possesses less charisma than Carrot Top.

        The film was shot and the budget bloated to a whopping 70 million dollars (and that’s only an official number, it’s probably even more). That’s quite a lot for a movie with exactly 1 well-known star (David Thewlis doesn’t count) and no sequences requiring anything of significant cost. Sharon hyped the movie on talk-shows, horny teenagers were salivating on the prospect of seeing a MILF in action and everyone else pretty much didn’t give a fuck.

        The movie opened in March 2006, with approximately $3,201,420 as its weekend gross. In other words- a complete debacle. It left American theaters only after 17 days. David Morrissey’s career didn’t jump start as he probably hoped it would (actually, this movie was a nice, firm break in the little momentum he had). Sharon Stone’s pretty much ended.

        This week’s Mr. Floppy is actually the first ever Mrs. Floppy. The producers Mario Kassar and Andrew G. Wajna were also to take the blame, but it really comes down to Mrs. Stone. She’s the one, who has an alleged IQ of 154 and still thought that anybody still cares to see her naked (much less her beaver) at 48 years of age. She’s the one who went after the producers with this, she’s the one who sued like an idiot when the shooting didn’t start, she’s the one who still agreed to star in this after her lawsuit and eventually she’s the one the movie-going public didn’t give two ounces of f*** to see. You can say she was in it for the money, but I believe she already has enough money on her bank account. Just like Arnie in Terminator 3, or recently Bruce Willis in Live Free or Die Hard, she just wanted that one final bask in glory. Too bad the movie sucked a**, and it wasn’t even entertaining in its awfulness. It’s just incredibly dull, boring, stupid- simply, a piece of shit. Personally speaking, it’s one of the most boring movies I’ve ever seen. No wonder no one went to see it.

        Since Basic Instinct 2 was a Sharon Stone vehicle, I hereby award her the title – Mrs. Floppy.




        Bryan Kristopowitz

        2. Sharon Stone – Basic Instinct 2

        Sharon Stone is going to be remembered as the “hot chick in the white skirt showing everyone her bingbangboom,” Catherine Tramell, in Basic Instinct. The movie was huge, her performance was amazing, and it seemed like a no brainer that a sequel would happen. I don’t think anyone anticipated that it would take fourteen years for that sequel to get made. And I don’t think anyone anticipated that the sequel would be absolutely awful. Just awful. And the flick died at the box office. Basic Instinct will live on. The sequel will not. And I don’t think anyone is going to ask Sharon Stone to be a sex killer again.


        • At the time she was doing supporting roles in crap films like Bobby and Alpha Dog. With Basic Instinct 2 she got the biggest paycheck of her career, top billing (in the first one her name wasn’t even above the title!) and a chance to show off how great she looked in her late 40s. I fail to see how it was a bad career move.


          • It was a bad career move because it ended her career.

            Although I’m amazed the sequel was ever made at all, considering the original film was awful.


    • “Basic Instinct 2″ strikes me as one of those movies involving an actor, whose career has been on the decline for some time seemingly out of desperation and/or nothing to lose going back to the role that gave them the most success. It’s like when (in the context of this WTHHT series) Eddie Murphy did “Beverly Hills Cop 3″ (right down to getting his “Trading Places”/”Coming to America” director John Landis to work on it) or Arnold Schwarzenegger did “Terminator 3″.


      • Totally agree. All three of those movies were made out of desperation and a desire to cash one more big paycheck.


      • Great movie comebacks:


        The Failures

        Of course, comebacks don’t always quite pan out as expected. Normally, when an actor is considered a ‘has-been’, it’s for a good reason. Perhaps, they were never any good in the first place? Maybe they’ve grown old and lost their looks? Or possibly, the world just isn’t interested in them any more. So to finish off, here’s a brief list of failed comebacks:

        David Carradine – Kill Bill

        Beneficial to his career, maybe, but not the success that was probably expected.

        Jean-Claude Van Damme – Universal Soldier: The Return

        Sorry, Jean-Claude, no one cares anymore.

        Paul Hogan – Crocodile Dundee In Los Angeles

        Dear oh dear. Perhaps you should try sounding a bit less Australian, Paul.

        Sharon Stone – Basic Instinct 2

        MILFs are okay for a five-minute fumble when your housemates are out for the night, but not for mainstream cinema.


      • 10 movie stars and the franchises they rely on:



        The Franchise: Beverly Hills Cop
        Last Time Used: Beverly Hills Cop 3

        When it was revealed that Eddie Murphy was to reprise the role of Axel Foley in Beverly Hills Cop 4, eyebrows were raised for a number of reasons. Firstly, how did he get himself into a position where he needed to do it, just a year after he snared an Oscar nomination for Dreamgirls? And secondly, the last time Murphy tried to revive his career with a Beverly Hills Cop movie, things didn’t go to plan at all. BHC 3 came off the back of what was a promising mini-Murphy revival with Boomerang and The Distinguished Gentleman, but sent his career firmly back to the doldrums until he stumbled upon The Nutty Professor a few years’ later. Bluntly, there’s no guarantee that the Axel Foley card carries anywhere near the weight it just had, and BHC 4 can safely be classed as a gamble. But then, Murphy is surely fast running out of chips…


        The Franchise: The Terminator
        Last Used: Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines

        One UK magazine (think it was Film Review) writer predicted in the aftermath of Terminator 2’s enormous box office success that Arnold Schwarzenegger would never again be able to draw in such numbers. It’s a prediction that’s been proven correct, too, and while Arnie is currently fulfilling his political ambitions, should he ever choose to return to movies, he’s likely to have more trouble than ever generating a hit. When he made Terminator 3, he hadn’t had a huge success in a long time, with the likes of End Of Days, Jingle All the Way, The 6th Day and Collateral Damage all delivering numbers far off the Austrian Oak’s best. T3 did, however, bring home the bacon, although it’s hard to assess its longer term impact for Arnie, given that he’s not headlined a film since. His most pressing problem may be though that the Terminator franchise is now going ahead without him, perhaps removing it as an option for him altogether. For while a Terminator film with Arnie is always likely to be more popular, he may no longer be vital to the series. And that could make Predator 3 all the more appealing…


        The Franchise: Basic Instinct
        Last Used: Basic Instinct 2: Risk Addiction

        Proof that it doesn’t always work. Sharon Stone hadn’t had a hit that she’d headlined pretty much ever from what we can work out, and so Basic Instinct 2 was the film she kept talking about, no doubt with an eye on resurrecting her commercial fortunes. Big mistake. A cast-iron bomb that destroyed not only any hope of a BI3, but also Sharon Stone’s leading star status, Basic Instinct 2 is a wise lesson in knowing which franchises can be redeployed and which, er, can’t. It’s unlikely her career will ever really get anywhere near where it was at the start of the 90s.


        • 10 Horrifically Unnecessary Movie Sequels That Nobody Wanted:


          6. Basic Instict 2: Risk Addiction (2006)

          Basic Instict 2. Yeah, this exists. And would you believe it if I told you that it actually stars Sharon Stone in the central role? Please do. I’m telling the truth. Presumably the product of her own ego and the fact that she needed to make a quick buck fast, Stone leapt upon the chance to gift all those Basic Instinct fans who have been hammering for a sequel the follow-up they deserved. Or, at least, it would be nice to imagine that’s what happened. Risk Addiction actually happened, I think, because Sharon Stone wanted to play “middle-aged” sexy.

          It must be pretty tough if you used to be the sexiest woman in Hollywood, after all, which can be Stone’s only real reason for getting back into character as crime novelist and suspected serial killer Catherine Trammell. The plot has her on the run from Scotland Yard after a horrific masturbation-induced car accident (you read that right) gets her into some serious trouble. There’s a character in this called Dr. Michael Glass. I don’t know why that’s funny. It probably isn’t. And yet… that’s the most interesting thing about the whole movie. Go figure.


          • 10 Failed Attempts To Sell A Movie With Sex:


            9. Basic Instinct 2

            It’s pretty clear to everyone except Sharon Stone why Basic Instinct 2 flopped, and that’s because most people aren’t too fussed about seeing a 48-year-old woman cavorting around on screen without her clothes on, even if Stone has aged considerably well.

            After the rampant sexiness of the 1992 original, it was just a step down, and frankly, from the perspective of a studio head, I’m surprised they didn’t introduce a young sexpot to serve as Stone’s protege this time around; that might have fared better, I imagine.

            A colossal flop, the film barely took over half its budget, raking in $38 million against a $70 million production cost, making it clear that Stone’s body was not as in demand as it once was. That, and the film is an absolutely absurd mess.


    • The top 10 unerotic erotic thrillers:


      5. Sliver (1993)

      Both Sharon Stone and writer Joe Eszterhas were hot property after the success of Basic Instinct, so a movie that reunited the pair of them must have sounded like box-office gold. But while Sliver didn’t do too badly at all financially, it was critically panned, and nominated for numerous Razzie awards for its acting and writing.

      Based on a novel by Ira Levin, Sliver was set in a New York apartment building (the sliver of the title) in which high-flying editor Carly (Stone) finds herself in a romantic triangle with the building’s owner Zeke (William Baldwin) and a writer, Jack (Tom Berenger). As various residents begin to die, Carly begins to suspect that both men may have something to hide…

      That’s the thriller element of the plot, at any rate, which doesn’t sound too bad when written down – like Die Hard with more sexual tension and fewer guns.

      Unfortunately, the film fails to do anything noteworthy with the voyeuristic themes implied in the novel, the script is peppered with painfully unsexy exchanges (“Anybody ever tell you you have a nice butt?” Baldwin asks Stone), and Philip Noyce fails to direct the film with the same trashy verve that Paul Verhoeven brought to Basic Instinct.

      Trimmed to avoid an NC-17 rating, the already tepid sex scenes are left looking rather coy, and William Baldwin spends most of the film looking alternately sad and bored – though in fairness, the camera spends more time pointed at Baldwin’s arse than his face.

      If you want more proof of Sliver’s profound lack of eroticism, here it is: UB40 provided a song for the soundtrack, and in one scene, Sharon Stone plays golf in a dressing gown. Case closed.

      1. Basic Instinct 2 (2006)

      Sharon Stone returned for this belated sequel to her 90s hit, which relocates its action from America to London, and misplaces all traces of eroticism in the transatlantic flight. Catherine Tramell, still a bestselling novelist, loses her footballer boyfriend during a post-orgasmic car crash (complete with cinema’s most bizarre cameo: Stan Collymore). With the police sensing foul play, psychologist Dr Michael Glass (David Morrissey) is given the task of finding out just how crazy Catherine is, and naturally, much fornication ensues.

      Like all the films on this list, the sex scenes in Basic Instinct 2 aren’t terribly sexy, and even the earthy chatter is awkward. Sharon Stone’s saddled with such hideous lines as “Even Oedipus didn’t see his mother coming” and “I’m devastated. I may never come again.” Brr.

      In the US, Basic Instinct 2 was subtitled Risk Addiction, which sounds like someone obsessed with strategy board games – a scenario which may actually have proved sexier than the resulting film.


    • The 50 Worst Movie Sequels of All Time:


      3. Basic Instinct 2 (2006)
      Director: Michael Caton-Jones
      Stars: Sharon Stone, David Morrissey, David Thewlis, Hugh Dancy, Neil Maskell, Charlotte Rampling

      If not for Sharon Stone’s presence, Basic Instinct 2 would’ve been just another straight-to-DVD non-event, likely co-starring a Lindsay Lohan type and shown on Cinemax late at night. And multiplexes worldwide would’ve been much safer.

      But some under-qualified producers and financiers mistook the calendar’s 2006 for 1996. Thinking that Sharon Stone was still a bankable star, this mind-numbing sequel’s backers operated under the pretense that fans of erotic thrillers were clamoring for Stone to once again grab the ice pick used in 1992’s smutty triumph Basic Instinct.

      The dilemma: By 2006, has-been Stone’s forced “sexiness” was shameful, not seductive. Saddled with a campy plot and one of those painfully ludicrous twist endings, Stone’s bid for a comeback was a career killer of the sleaziest kind.


  28. Agree on 5$ a Day as a decent film. I was intrigued by the combination of Stone and Walken, and it turned out to be good.


  29. 20 Movies That Made Us Think Differently About The Actors In Them (And Not In A Good Way):


    An actress who had her biggest smash before the Internet existed to immortalize her greatest moment in history, has to be choosy in the roles she picks. Starring in Catwoman did her career no favors. She tried to bounce back with Basic Instinct 2 but after 14 youth stealing years–no one really bought it. And no ones likely to ever again.


  30. Why Did Sharon Stone’s Career Go South?:


    She’s barely recognizable under an unflattering mop of black curls—and maybe that’s the point—but that’s Sharon Stone on the cover of the new straight-to-DVD release Border Run. Arguably Hollywood’s hottest star (in more ways than one) back in her Basic Instinct days, Stone hasn’t exactly been on a roll lately. Is this a case of Hollywood’s ageism/sexism, discarding a pinup when her sex appeal starts to fade?

    Stone turns 55 next month, and still looks pretty great despite her Border Run coif, if you ask me. But it doesn’t take a math whiz to figure out that means she was nearly 35 when Basic came out, which is like 50 in movie-starlet years. Before that, she’d mostly toiled in forgettable b-movies like Action Jackson, Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol and Allan Quartermain and the Lost City of Gold. Arnold Schwarzenegger put her on the star map when he blew her away in Total Recall—”consider that a divorce,” he coolly quipped, prefiguring his messy split from Maria Shriver by two decades. But as bisexual murderess Catherine Tramell in Basic Instinct, it was her crotch shot seen round the world that made her a global megastar.

    What followed was a nearly uninterrupted decade-long string of commercial and/or creative bombs—Sliver, Intersection, Diabolique, The Specialist, Last Dance and Sphere among them. Some weren’t bad ideas on paper (playing the title role in Albert Brooks’ disappointing comedy The Muse). Some were (needlessly remaking John Cassevetes’ Gloria with Sidney Lumet). And some weren’t bad movies—Sam Raimi’s underrated Western The Quick and the Dead, for example, not to mention her Oscar-nominated turn as a prostitute-turned-trophy wife in Martin Scoresese’s Casino.

    But her luck soon ran out. The Quick and the Dead started to describe her movies’ run in theaters. They weren’t The Mighty, nothing was Simpatico and she found herself Picking Up the Pieces. The 2000′s were a lost decade—anyone remember Beautiful Joe, Cold Creek Manor, Broken Flowers, If I Had Known I Was a Genius, When a Man Falls, The Year of Getting to Know Us or $5 a Day (and no, that’s not what she was getting paid, although it might not be far off)? Stone probably wishes we could forget her catfights with Halle Berry in Catwoman, her role as an obese, suicidal mom opposite Justin Timberlake in Alpha Dog and the underexposed sequel Basic Instinct 2 (from which costar David Morrissey has only recently recovered with his work as the Governor on The Walking Dead). But try as we might, we can’t.

    With the simultaneously preachy and exploitative Border Run—an unwatchable “thriller” about a right-wing journalist (Stone) who changes her views on immigration after her relief worker brother (Billy Zane, who’s sunk a long way since Titanic) is kidnapped by “coyotes”—Stone may have finally hit rock bottom. So there’s nowhere to go but up, and she may be headed in that direction as Amanda Seyfried’s titular porn star’s mother in Lovelace, which recently played at the Sundance Film Festival. She’s also part of the impressive ensembles of a pair of promising indie comedies, Gods Behaving Badly (she plays a modern-day Aphrodite, alongside Christopher Walken, John Turturro, Oliver Platt, Edie Falco and Rosie Perez) and Fading Gigolo (with Woody Allen, Liev Schreiber, Sofia Vergara and John Turturro again!).

    Gigolo marks a belated and unlikely reunion for Stone, who made her big-screen debut in 1980 with the wordless role as “Pretty Girl on Train” in Woody Allen’s Stardust Memories. One can only hope she leaves us with more than that.


  31. Why Did ‘Basic Instinct’ Cause All the 90s Scandal When ‘Color of Night’ Was So Much Trashier?:


    When you think about 90s pop culture, you have to think about Paul Verhoeven’s 1992 erotic thriller, Basic Instinct. That movie dropped like a bomb, dominating the entertainment news cycle for months and inspiring years worth of parodies. Its success didn’t come because Michael Douglas’ cop character investigating a murder made for all that interesting a story, or because Verhoeven orchestrated the thing all that well either. It came almost solely because people were so shocked by the content. There were threesomes, ice pick murders, and, of course, there was that interrogation scene where you could catch the briefest glimpse of Sharon Stone’s vagina if you turned your head sideways and squinted. The 90s were more innocent times—before the near daily release of celebrity sex tapes—so this was intense stuff, and Basic Instinct made a mint off the scandal.

    Two years later, a sporadically working director named Richard Rush tried to cash in on the trashy erotic thriller craze by making Color of Night, a murder story that starred Bruce Willis as a troubled psychologist dealing with the killing of his best friend, and a cast of colorful psychiatric patients that served as the suspects. Like Basic Instinct, the film focused on kinks and perversions of all sorts, and seeing as Willis’ character eventually begins to enjoy the company of a free-spirited minx played by Jane March, it had plenty of saucy nudity too. But the trashy erotic thriller craze proved to be short lived, because, despite the fact that Color of Night had a star as big as Willis and tons of twisted content, it only made about $19m domestic compared to Basic Instinct’s $117m. What’s the deal with that?

    Color of Night was just as ridiculous and over-the-top as Basic Instinct. Are you telling me that people got tired of boobs and murders?


  32. Sharon Stone was one of the only actresses I hoped she would never get old.Even today i dont know why she did intersection and the quick and the dead in her hay days however Casino was her best performance ever.she was good in the last dance as well. I think she really suffered from the late fame and didn’t have a chance to recover her box office bombs.


  33. Why go to the cinema to see Michael Douglas having simulated sex when you can watch Tommy Anders having real sex for free online?


  34. The rise and fall of the erotic thriller:


    If Fatal Attraction was the erotic thriller genre’s Jaws, then Basic Instinct was its Star Wars. Entirely lacking that earlier film’s attempts at characterisation or emotional complexity, Basic Instinct made a star out of its icy femme fatale Sharon Stone, and took almost $353 million on a $49 million budget.

    Basic Instinct was written by Joe Eszterhas, who rather cheekily, you might say, reworked the plot of his own less successful Jagged Edge (1985). Like Jagged Edge, Basic Instinct is a whodunit with a suspect list with only one name on it: in this case, randy crime novelist Catherine Tramell (Stone) who may or not have stabbed to death a rock star during the final throes of coitus.

    Michael Douglas plays Nick Curran, a hot-blooded cop with an unfortunate taste in V-neck sweaters. His investigations into the Tramell case inevitably end in the suspect’s bedroom, where director Paul Verhoeven regales the viewer with a series of hyper-stylised sex scenes that look like sweaty aerobics videos.

    Assorted sequences of violence and intrigue are splashed across the screen, but these were of secondary importance to Basic Instinct’s graphic set-pieces – one, involving Catherine Tramell and a surprising absence of underwear, was repeatedly freezeframed and lampooned for years afterwards.

    Some critics were unimpressed by Verhoeven’s sensationalistic mix of icy violence and sultry carnality, and the film was harshly criticised by gay rights activists for its content, but like Dressed To Kill years earlier, the controversy merely added to the box-office hysteria.

    What’s more, Basic Instinct taught Hollywood producers an important lesson: to make a hit movie, all you needed was a thriller script, a suggestive title, and a couple of actors with full gym membership and a willingness to take their clothes off.

    In the months after Basic Instinct, only Sliver (1993) came anywhere close to replicating the earlier movie’s success, largely because lead actress Sharon Stone was still a major star – from a critical perspective, the film fared little better than Body Of Evidence.

    The erotic thriller limped on into the 21st century, but movies such as Unfaithful (2002) and In The Cut (2003) did tepid business. The subgenre’s death knell came in 2006 with the belated sequel, Basic Instinct 2. In development hell for years, the resulting film reintroduced Sharon Stone as Catherine Tramell; older, now dwelling in London, and still as dangerous as ever.

    The film was little short of a disaster. Not only did it lack the trashy spark of the original, Basic Instinct 2 was also missing Verhoeven’s sly streak of humour. David Morrissey replaced Michael Douglas as Tramell’s bedroom partner and potential victim, and he seemed ill at ease with the task; his glum, terse performance aptly summed up the dourness of the film as a whole. With Basic Instinct 2, it seemed that even filmmakers had lost interest in erotic thrillers – audiences had, at any rate, if the movie’s flaccid box-office performance is anything to go by.

    In the wake of Basic Instinct 2’s failure, various culprits were fingered as the reason for the erotic thriller’s apparent loss of steam. Some blamed the Internet, with the ready availability of pornography robbing the genre of its mystique. Some even blamed the Republicans.

    Interviewed for a Hollywood Reporter article in 2006, Paul Verhoeven said, “We are living under a government that is constantly hammering out Christian values. And Christianity and sex have never been good friends.”

    In reality, we suspect it was the quality of the movies following Basic Instinct that ultimately undid the erotic thriller, and not George W Bush. Most of the writers who tackled the genre after 1992 were shockingly unimaginative, and seemed content to trot out the same stock whodunit or woman-on-the-rampage plots with little in the way of flair or irony.


  35. In her case the question is rather “How the hell did she ever become a star in the first place”


    • Aw, that’s not nice. ;)

      How’d she become a star? She fought tooth and nail. She bared it all. Eventually the perfect role came around at the perfect time. So, basically a lot of kicking and scratching mixed with really good luck.


  36. The 50 Hottest Bad Actresses Of All Time:


    29. Sharon Stone
    Worst Performances: Sphere (1998), Catwoman (2004), Alpha Dog (2006), Basic Instinct 2 (2006)

    If only Sharon Stone could work exclusively with Martin Scorsese. In the acclaimed director’s 1995 masterwork Casino, Stone gave a thunderous performance worthy of the Academy Award nomination she received. Ever since then, though, she’s been the queen of overacting, ineffectively hamming it up as the villain in 2004’s regrettable Catwoman and overselling her worst-mom-ever character in 2006’s Alpha Dog.


    • Basic Instinct 2 wasn’t any worse than the original, both films were bad.

      Her acting in Sphere was just fine. There aren’t many bad PERFORMANCES on her filmography, just a lot of bad movies. She’s always been a good actress.


      • Her early performances are pretty bad. Check out Total Recall. Her acting was passable next to Arnold. She got a lot better. I would say she was a talented actress. But it took her a little while to get there.


      • Sphere had to be difficult for any actress to play. The book version of the character is weird enough. Chrichton seemingly had difficulty with women characters, so he often left them ambiguous. I never saw the movie to see what they did with it.


        • I never read the book. I watched about half of the movie. It made no sense. No one came across will in it. But it was hardly the actors’ fault. The movie was just a mess.


    • 10 Awesome Performances From Usually Terrible Actors:


      Think Sharon Stone in Total Recall, Basic Instinct or Catwoman. Chances are you’ll also think of the word ‘bad’. Forever typecast as a sultry vamp, Stone’s probably never been widely seen as an actress with diverse abilities. That is, apart from Martin Scorsese.

      Scorsese’s women are rarely better-drawn than the men, but Sharon Stone’s Casino role outshines even on-screen husband Robert De Niro through sheer, effervescent brilliance. As Ginger, a headstrong Vegas hooker turned trophy-wife and coke-addled woman on the edge, Stone is unstoppable. Her mood yo-yo’s from one strip of the emotional spectrum to another, giving an unpredictable woman a crazed, over-the-top streak that – crucially – never feels forced. It just fits right into a tale of excess and self-destruction, a heartfelt display from one of American cinema’s sexiest women and, better still, one that looks as though it required no effort. Stone does it all seamlessly.


      • The Absolute Worst Episodes:


        I like all the episodes of MPI. All of them except for one. And I HATE this episode.

        I cannot stand the two part episode “Echoes of the Mind.” Honestly, it makes me want to vomit, and my mind refuses to recognize it as part of the MPI library. Oh, I hate so much about it. I could never stand Sharon Stone. I’ve always hated her “hey, I can play a crazy chick” acting approach she uses time and time and time and time and time again in her movies. And, man, does she paint it on heavy in this episode – starting with that terrible opening in the car where her “two selves” are going at it back in forth. Ug.

        The moment I see Thomas and the gang in this episode, I wonder what new writer wrote this piece of work. The characters don’t seem like themselves. I hate how instantly and completely Thomas falls for Diane. I hate how he is shown so heartbroken at the end, and at the start of the next episode he’s looking at the bottom of a bottle for relief – SO NOT THOMAS MAGNUM. ARGH! And is it just me, or does episode seem to leave a rather terrible comment in the end about mental health problems (my own family has dealt with some things, and this episode so makes me cringe).

        There, this post let me get it off my chest. Man, I hate “Echoes of the Mind.” Again, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE all the rest. But DESPISE this two part episode. And Sharon Stone has to be the most over-rated actress in the history of the biz.

        Forgive me if I upset anyone who likes this episode. I never claim to always be right. But I hate this episode!


  37. She is a great actress, watch the truth here in ‘Inside The Actors Studio – Sharon Stone’ on youtube and that explains all. this article does twist facts, I just read lebeaus other articles on others like Demi M. etc. and many not correct facts.


    • I will never rule out the possibility I got something wrong. I had to make an update to my Uma Thurman article today. It happens from time to time. But I can’t make corrections if you don’t tell me what is incorrect.

      Having said that, when people pop in here and say articles are factually inaccurate without mentioning specifics, it’s usually because they don’t have any. Don’t be one of those people. Back up your claims. I’ll give your comment a thumbs up to match the one you gave yourself.


  38. How can a person be considered a “star” if they were in one famous film 22 years ago?


    • Craig Hansen

      Her stardom could maybe be summed up succinctly with Basic Instinct, but that was such a star-making film for her that it made her a household name and gave her career momentum. Would she have been cast in Casino, and been nominated for an Academy Award, if she had never co-starred alongside Michael Douglas in Basic Instinct? Probably not, honestly. But she continued to gain starring and co-starring roles in films throughout the 90’s. Basic Instinct made her an A list movie star for a few years. At least that’s my take, I’d be interested in hearing what Lebeau has to say about this.


      • Basic Instinct was undeniably the lynchpin. It single handedly made Stone a star. The fact that she never fully capitalized on that star power doesn’t negate the fact that for a time she was one of Hollywood’s brightest stars. It just means her reign was relatively short.


    • What’s your definition of a “star”. There have been lots of movie stars who didn’t have a single iconic role like Basic Instinct. Do you think anything today’s actresses are doing will be remembered as well in 22 years?

      Also, you are really selling her career short. She had one truly iconic movie role in a well-reviewed blockbuster movie. A lot of actors will never have anything that approaches that. But she also appeared in several memorable films like Total Recall and Casino. And there are base hits like Quick and the Dead and The Muse. She’s an Oscar and Golden Globe nominee. She’s famous the world over and at her peak was one of the most powerful actors in Hollywood.

      If that isn’t a star, I don’t know what is.


      • I wish she had a different role to be iconic in. I love Stone but hate the movie Basic Instinct, not only b/c it’s a sleazy film but I cannot stand Michael Douglas. He was ridiculous for casting himself in a movie like that at his age, then did it again 2 years later in Disclosure, which was even more implausible that a young babe would risk her career to SEXUALLY HARASS a 50 year old man? Please! He was a box office draw, but I will never understand his appeal. I think he’s quite awful.


        • Aw, I like Douglas. I comepletely agree that casting him in those kinds of roles was ridiculous. But then, those were ridiculous movies. And audiences clearly had an appetite for Douglas in those roles.

          As for Stone, I don’t think another role would have suited her as well. After BI, she struggled against her sex symbol image to no avail. It was definitely a double edged sword. Without the role, she never would have been a star. But once she was a star for that role, that’s all anyone wanted from her.


        • Wayne Treacher

          Douglas won an Oscar for co-producing “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” when he was 31, but his acting career didn’t really hit the big time until he was 40 with “Romancing the Stone”. His career was unusual in that he was already in his forties and fifties when he starred in his most successful films. I can’t really think of anyone else who did that, except John Wayne (although he had become an A-list star in his early thirties with “Stagecoach”, he became a huge star in his early forties with “Red River” and John Ford’s Cavalry Trilogy).


          • Excellent point. I had this same conversation with someone a long time ago in the comments section of the Kathleen Turner article when I said that Turner was a bigger star than Douglas at the time Romancing the Stone was released. I can think of some character actors who hit it big later in life. But few leading men.


            • Wayne Treacher

              Can you think of any other Hollywood leading men who became very famous in middle-age? I know there have been cases of British stars becoming successful in Hollywood at that age, like Liam Neeson or Jack Hawkins, but they tend to play supporting roles.


              • The ones who spring to mind tended to be supporting actors who started getting lead roles. Actors like Samuel L Jackson and Kevin Spacey. Daniel Craig was 38 when he played James Bond. Anthony Hopkins was quite a bit older when he became a A-list. But no, I can’t really think of any Hollywood guys who became A-list actors as middle-aged men. Not to the degree that Douglas did anyway.


                • Craig Hansen

                  I would say Samuel L. Jackson accomplished that. He had done a lot of bit parts and minor supporting roles in films in the late 80’s to mid 90’s, to the point where he was becoming a successful character actor, but then Pulp Fiction hit. Jackson was already 46 by then, and he was able to take advantage of the heat that film gave him to become an A-list star over time. He is one of those rare actors to first become an A-list actor in his 40’s.He’s still a big-name actor in his mid 60’s, another rare feat these days.


                  • The thing about Jackson is that I don’t think he’s really a box office draw on his own. He’s in a lot of movies that make money, he’s well-known and well-liked. But there’s usually something else selling the movie. It’s a Tarrantino movie or a big franchise like Marvel or Star Wars. When Jackson is the main draw (Snakes on a Plane or even Shaft) the movie usually doesn’t do very well.

                    Douglas was a huge box office draw.


                  • Charles Bronson is probably another good example of a “late bloomer” type of actor. He was already in his 50s when he made “Death Wish”, which is generally considered the movie that really made him a household name in America (he was already reasonably well known in Europe).


  39. Whatever Happened To…?:


    Easily one of the most iconic actresses of the 90’s, Sharon Stone, has been absent from the big screen since 2006. Sure she has been working steadily since then, but most of the films have played the festival circuit and then went straight to DVD. If you really think about it, she has not had a memorable leading role since the 90’s. Most of her best work, post 90’s, has been in minor supporting roles. I know Stone has had her share of forgettable films, but she is too talented of an actress to be stuck in straight-to-DVD purgatory along with several other memorable 90’s actors and actresses. At only 53 years-old Stone still has plenty to offer as an actress if given the right role. In films like Casino, Broken Flowers, and the Quick and the Dead she demonstrated that she was more than just the sex symbol from Basic Instincts. I know Hollywood is notorious for ignoring an actress the minute they reach age 40, but Stone deserves another shot. I would love to see her reboot her career in a Wes Anderson film or even a reunite with director Jim Jarmusch.

    Career Highlights: Basic Instinct (1992); Total Recall (1990); The Quick and the Dead (1995); Casino (1995); Bobby(2006); Stardust Memories (1980); Broken Flowers (2005); Action Jackson (1988); Above the Law (1988); Diary of a Hitman (1991); Antz (1998); He Said, She Said (1991); The Last Action Hero (1993); The Mighty (1998); Alpha Dog (2006).

    Low Points: Catwoman (2004); Basic Instinct 2 (2006); Sliver (1993); King Solomon’s Mine (1985); Intersection (1994); Sphere (1998); Police Academy 4: Citizen Patrol (1987); Cold Creek Manor (2003); Last Dance (1996); Year of the Gun (1991); The Specialist (1994); Diablolique (1996); Gloria (1999); The Muse (1999).

    Last Seen On The Big Screen: Bobby (2006).

    Where You Will See Her Next?: Waco with Adrien Brody, Kurt Russell and Giovanni Ribisi.


  40. It’s not like Sharon Stone won’t continue to work. But as Lebeau has charted for her and others in this series, the higher the star, the longer the fall. A couple of days ago I watched ‘I Love You Man” on cable. Enjoyable BTW. Who popped up in the role of the groom’s mother? Jane Curtin! She has worked fairly steadily over the years. For every leading lady or leading man, there have to be either parents, grandparents, etc or other middle aged supporting characters. I submit there is work out there for established actors who are past the sex symbol stage. Of course, I still do think it’s unfair a 50 year old woman is ruled out of a lead role when a 50 year old man would not be. But no one said life is fair.


    • The best roles for actresses over 40 are on TV. Ask Jessica Lange.


      • Lange is 64….that’s WAY over 40. She wasn’t relegated to TV until her 60s. Prior to that she only did movies.

        There are plenty of good roles for women in their 40s: Naomi Watts, Halle Berry, Gwyneth Paltrow, Cameron Diaz, Rachel Weisz, Catherine Zeta Jones, Jennifer Aniston, Julia Roberts, Sandra Bullock etc. etc.

        50s is where it gets tricky, imo. Even Stone had a semi decent movie career in her 40s. She was still getting indies up until a few years ago. It’s only in the last five years (coincidentally—since turning 50!) that she hasn’t had a single decent film role, even in an indie.


        • I don’t know about “plenty” of good roles. There aren’t “plenty” of good roles for actresses in their 20s or 30s. Around 40, actresses start transitioning to supporting roles and indies. The lead roles in mainstream movies start to dry up. Competition for those roles is fierce. The indie movies can keep an actress in critics favor and possibly net them some awards, but it’s not the same.

          TV doesn’t have the stigma that it had 20 or even 10 years ago. Lots of actresses are finding better work there than they are in movies. Look at Mary-Louise Parker and Elizabeth Perkins on Weeds. The movies were done with them decades ago. But they have been flourishing on TV. Mira Sorvino is about to start a sitcom and Elisabeth Shue has rebounded on CSI.

          I think if Stone was interested in steady work, she should find a juicy TV role she can really sink her teeth into.


        • Let me rephrase that, there are good roles that actresses over 40 can play, but the characters are often not the same age as the actress who plays them.

          Sandra Bullock is the most prominent example. She was 45 when she did The Proposal, but her character has to be at least a decade younger than that.

          Kidman, 46, is playing Grace Kelly (ugh) in a film that takes place when Kelly was 32.

          Berry got a Golden Globe nomination for playing a stripper in some indie film in 2010 when she was 44.

          Aniston’s sex vixen role in Horrible Bosses clearly was not written for a 40+ actress, but she was cast anyway.

          Naomi Watts, 45, doesn’t do a lot of mainstream movies but she’s still in demand on the indie level, and all her recent characters have been glamorous 30-somethings.

          Probably the biggest age-difference between character and actress was Basinger in L.A. Confidential. She was 44, about 20 years older than the “call girl” she played in the film, and got an Oscar for it.


  41. Lange often returned to act on stage in between movies.

    Stone is a bit like Edward Furlong – they had one huge movie in the early 1990s, then remained famous for no reason.

    Could you do an article about Furlong?


    • Furlong is an excellent suggestion. Thanks!


      • Thought this link might interest you. Is it me or do some of the entries in this series look familiar?



        • Funny – there are a few similarly themed series out there. Not surprisingly, we cover a lot of the same subjects. If any of them are seriously getting inspiration from WTHH, that’s cool. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. The only thing that makes me angry is when someone literally copies my stuff on to their site like they wrote it (which has happened believe it or not). My stuff’s not that good. If you’re going to steal, steal something that’s better written.


          • You’re far too modest!


            • I hear that from people here. In real life, no one ever says that to me. ;)

              In all seriousness, there isn’t much writing involved in WTHH. The heavy lifting is in research. I do a lot more reading than writing when I put these articles together. A lot of the writing is just repeating the facts I have uncovered. My personal contributions in the form of stray observations make up maybe 1/3 of the article if that.

              But I love compliments. So, thanks!


          • Hey, a lot of us enjoy your writing style! I too get angry at outright plagiarism, as opposed to inspiration.

            In terms of the way you write, it’s something almost undefinable for me, when a particular writer or columnist or blogger has a certain something that makes me a fan of that style. “Better written” can be very subjective depending on the purpose. If it’s for a scholarly paper then sure a lot of blogs including this one can be picked apart but what is the point in that? So just accept it, your stuff is good!


            • I try to keep it conversational. Sometimes, I am capable of “better writing”. But this being a blog, I try to write in the most casual style possible. Ideally, it feels like we’re sitting down and talking movies over lunch. Joking around, maybe squabbling, but sharing a love of movies.

              That’s the goal. It’s a pretty easy goal, so hopefully I hit it more often than not. You guys make me think I do.

              It’s the tone that separates all of these different similarly-themed series from one another.


        • 10 Child Stars Who Spectacularly Self Destructed:


          5. Edward Furlong

          Here’s one that’s really disappointing. Edward Furlong was superbly cast as the precocious, young John Connor in Terminator 2, such that he seemed destined for a great career as an actor. After starring in a number of not-so-good trashy flicks (namely Pet Cemetery II), Furlong finally lived up to that early promise with a superb performance opposite Edward Norton in Tony Kate’s devastating American History X, but after this it all started to go wrong.

          However, drug and alcohol abuse saw Furlong’s career de-stabilize; he was fired from Terminator 3 despite the role being ready for him on a silver platter, and he began starring in increasingly desperate flicks like a particularly horrible sequel to The Crow, and even an Uwe Boll film called Stoic (though it was admittedly one of the infamously bad director’s “best” films, all things considered).

          Nowadays, Furlong is reportedly destitute, unable to even pay child support, and has refused to go into drug rehab even though it would save him an impending jail sentence. He’s also waiting to be brought up on charges for assaulting his ex-girlfriend, Monica Keena. Sadly, this is one story where I feel like we haven’t heard the worst of it yet.


  42. I must admit that while Stone was a huge star in the early to mid 90s, I haven’t seen her in anything since Casino.


  43. Re: on Stone “struggling” with her sex symbol image, I don’t think so! After she became famous, she still did sex scenes in Sliver, The Specialist, The Quick and the Dead and Diabolique!

    By the way, one of the things that earned her a “difficult to work with” reputation was her clashing with James G. Robinson, producer of Diabolique, over her refusal to appear nude in the film (her scene with Chazz Palminteri was still graphic, but no actual nudity was shown).

    And then there was her trying too hard to “mix it up” i.e. playing the mother of a 14 yr old in Intersection in the midst of all these sexpot roles, and, as I mentioned earlier, co-starring with many older actors, which in turn made her seem older.


    • See, that’s what I mean. She did struggle with her sex symbol image. She wasn’t interested in movies that played on her Basic Instinct persona, but those were the only roles anyone was interested in seeing her in.

      Did she have a sex scene in Quick and the Dead? I watched it recently and don’t recall one. If she did, it was PG-13 at best. No nudity. The Diabolique story backs that up too. Hollywood wanted steamy sex, she filmed the sex scene without nudity and that got her branded “difficult”.

      She definitely tried to mix it up which unfortunately didn’t work. She chose a lot of the wrong projects. But also, I don’t think anyone was interested in casting her in roles where she wasn’t a femme fatale and audiences weren’t interested in seeing her in those movies. So I fault the system and audiences as much as I do Stone for that.


      • The sex scene she filmed with Russell Crowe was cut from the theatrical version, but it’s on the DVD. She showed her breasts.


        • The sex scene is always included in the TV versions here in the UK. I’m surprised it was cut from the cinema release.


          • Raimi and Stone decided it wasn’t essential to the movie and agreed to have it cut. The studio re-inserted it for the video release and I guess international versions. Which is understandable. Generally Stone’s movies with nudity were a hit and her movies without nudity were not. I have personally never seen the scene in question. I have only seen the theatrical version (which is Raimi’s version). I can only imagine a sex scene feeling tacked on. But I will withhold judgement until I actually see the international/home video version.


  44. No one can take Casino away from Stone- she nailed it.

    Problem is – Hollywood doesn’t have a whole lot of femme fatale roles- I guess they don’t test well. In France- she might have had a better career.

    She was not young when she broke out- the clock was ticking for her from day one.

    With no possibility of her getting rom-coms, and with few femme fatale roles in Hollywood- she probably did as well as she could.

    I would have loved to have seen another Casino- maybe I’ll check out Gloria- but I think Gena Rowlands nailed it the first time.


    • Stone gave a few really strong performances. Casino was one of them. It was no fluke. She just needed more solid material like that. Instead she got a lot of near misses like Gloria, Last Dance and The Quick and the Dead. I have always found her performance in The Muse interesting. She had such a light comic touch which is rarely seen from her. I would have liked to have seen more of that.

      I think the ticking clock was a major factor. She seemed to be racing the clock to make the transition from femme fatale to serious actress. I think that lead her to take some weaker material. She might have done better at the box office if she had kept making steamy movies until her looks gave out.


  45. Sharon Stone to Fellow Actresses: Get Naked:


    Sharon Stone is all for getting naked for movies, sharing her thoughts on the subject two days before Miley Cyrus showed the world as much as she could of herself on television.


    • Says Stone:

      I feel that it’s so disappointing in films when you see the comforter taped to someone’s chest. It takes you out of the scene and doesn’t protect you from something within the scene….

      It really is the costume of your character. What else are you gonna do? It seems foolish to do something else and if you do something else, that distracts the audience if your inauthentic.

      If you’re inauthentically naked then it’s distracting to the audience when you are naked.

      I think I agree with her.


  46. I recall being in a crowded theater when the trailer for “THE SPECIALIST” hit the screen…it was maybe the ONLY TIME I heard many audience members actually HISSING at movie trailer (along with scattered laughter too)!!! (This was in rather-liberal San Francisco, where STONE / STALLONE on the big screen was more of a punchline than anything else.)

    Stone was RIVETING in “Casino” but there aren’t too many roles like that for gals Stone’s age…and believe it or not, I thought “Gloria” was actually an OK movie…not a great movie, mind you, but it was OK when I saw it on late-nite “regular” TV. (It was better than “Columbiana” as a femme-led action movie, I’ll say that for it.)

    Maybe she should try for a quality TV series…and by “quality” I mean something like “Law & Order: SVU,” not some dumb sitcom. Maybe Tarantino can put her in one of his movies.


    • I remember The Specialist being quite popular in the extremely conservative neighborhood I was in at the time. Stallone blew stuff up and Stone had a shower scene. It was everything that audience wanted from a movie. I don’t think anyone even noticed the hammy acting.

      I recently watched Lovelace on Netflix. I was quite impressed with the movie and was surprised it didn’t get a better reception/wider release. Stone plays Lovelace’s conservative mother who insists that she stay with her abusive husband because that’s what she did. It was a really strong performance. I couldn’t place who the actress was until I read the credits. I kept thinking it was Francis McDormand. Stone really disappeared into the character. She’s a better actress than people give her credit for.


      • re: Stallone blew stuff up and Stone had a shower scene. It was everything that audience wanted from a movie. I don’t think anyone even noticed the hammy acting.

        I know I’m gonna sound like a film snob, but in the malls and multiplexes of America, that’s why many folks go to movies: To see good-looking humanoids blow stuff up good, kiss, and/or get naked.

        re: Stone really disappeared into the character. She’s a better actress than people give her credit for.

        I agree. Like Sly Stallone and Bruce “The Grimace” Willis, Stone can give a great performance when she really wants to.


  47. Sharon Stone joined Twitter several months back just to let everybody know:



  48. The primary problem is getting associated with a role of that type at that age which is the cumulative take on it. Although she had been around the business for a while before Basic Instinct, once it hit that was it for her.

    Truthfully, neither Basic Instinct not Fatal Attraction has aged very well. In hindsight it’s easy to see those mainstream erotic thrillers as a late 80s-early 90s fad that was doomed to fade out. Quite a few of them still come out on DVD only nowadays, the last one to get a theatrical release that I remember was Unfaithful. To me, David Lynch’s Blue Velvet is the best erotic thriller of all-time. It’s totally uncompromising features fantastic acting and ends on the best possible note it could. It’s telling in a sense that the best one of all-time was made outside of Hollywood by an independent director. It could be argued that when mainstream Hollywood tries to work in this territory they do it badly (the godawful Never Talk To Strangers is a prime example).

    As for The Specialist, James Woods (What The Hell Happened To Him?) is easily the best thing about it.

    Stone could play dramatic roles if she worked with a director who knows how to draw good performances from her (like Scorsese did in Casino). The problem is, as you noted, many of those attempts were near misses. Last Dance might have done better had it not been released in the wake of the truly brilliant Dead Man Walking.

    Lastly re: Stallone. It’s easy to see The Expendables as what it is, a calculated attempt by him to create a new franchise now that the Rockys and Ramboes are out of steam. It’s easy to forget that prior to reviving both those characters for one last go, Stallone looked like he was about to join Seagal and Van Damme in direct to video purgatory. In fact a few of his early 2000s releases did go right to video. Cop Land showed he could do more ambitious projects. But its box office failure led him to go back to bottom of the barrel action movies like the horrendous Get Carter remake. The sad thing is, he later dismissed Cop Land and claimed it nearly ruined his career. I always thought it was his best performance aside from the original Rocky. As for Demolition Man, I always loved that one. I saw it as a parody of those dystopian future movies of the Blade Runner variety..


  49. You forgot “Irreconcilable Differences.”


  50. seeing her guest star in will and grace showed her comic chops she would be good fit for sitcom


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