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Sharon Stone On Entering a New Phase of Her Career With 'Lovelace' and Her Brief (And Only) Taste of Porn

Photo of Nigel M Smith By Nigel M Smith | Indiewire August 7, 2013 at 9:30AM

Sharon Stone stars as Linda Lovelace's mom in "Lovelace," the sad biopic of the famed "Deep Throat" star, helmed by "HOWL" duo Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman -- but you'd be hard pressed to know that, even after seeing the film. Virtually unrecognizable thanks to a wig, added on wrinkles and a startling physical transformation, Stone walks away with the most revelatory performance in the film, remarkable considering her over 30 years in the business.
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"Lovelace"
RADiUS-TWC "Lovelace"

What about Dorothy specifically spoke to you?

Just that, there's a kind of thing that happens when there's a break in health in a family dynamic and I thought how does this girl get involved with this guy? What is it about her that's damaged? And then, what is it about her that's healthy enough that she pulls herself out of it. Where does this happen? What is the relationship? And obviously the father is really sympathetic, he's a good guy he's a hard working guy and he stays in there with her. So it had to be the mother. It had to be.

So I wanted to break down the character in a way, what was is about her?I thought well she is, she's charming, she's funny. She puts that meal on the table, she works hard. She's there, she means well she's trying to do her best. But there's a piece of her that's broken. What is it? She's trying too hard there's something about her that went wrong in her past where it's almost like she's over trying. She's over disciplining, she's over forcing, she's over demanding, to the point where she's breaking her. And it happened in that period. That was the period where dads took the belt off and snapped the belt. And your mom would say "I'm gonna knock you into next week." I mean you're young but when I grew up that wasn't unusual.

I say to my kids, you know what Grandma would say? You know what would happen if I did that growing up? Do you have any idea what would happen? And my kids are like "Whoa." I'm like, " So if I were you, I'd cool it. You want me to call Grandma and tell her what you're doing?" [Laughs]

You clearly built up this back-story for the character to rationalize her harsh actions. Did any of that come from research?

Yes, I did a lot of research and so did Jeff and Rob. They did a lot of research and gave me a lot of stuff to look at. They're like Marty [Martin Scorsese], I mean they're serious filmmakers, they're the real McCoy. They are sensational filmmakers and they are sensational men. I hope they hire me a thousand times.

You could have played Linda Lovelace during your 90s heyday. Did you see it as subversive casting on their part?

25 years ago.

Casino Martin Scorcese Robert Di Niro Sharon Stone

Yeah, back then I could see this role being offered to you.

Which is why I played the mother.

Yeah.

Because, who would be her daughter?

Was that discussed at all?

I'm sure it's right for me to be the mother since, when I was a kid I could have played her. I think that's wise. No, I just think that's intelligent casting.

Let's talk about the physical transformation you had to undergo in order to play Dorothy. How did you come up with the look for the character?

Well we had pictures of Dorothy Boreman, so we lent ourselves to not trying to duplicate her but trying to capture the essence of her. It didn't take hours to do it, it was just creating a sketch of her.

How much did the wig, the makeup and the costumes inform the character?

We stippled my face. Stipple is this kind of stuff that's like a thin Elmer's Glue. You pull the skin like this and then you put it and then you release the skin. It creates this sort of wrinkling sensation. And then you just they put this sort of water color on to make it. It's just amazing. It was good, I mean it didn't take long but it was great. And because I'm skinny it's easier to use the body in this way to create fatigue.

Is doing something like that akin to wearing a mask? I can imagine it was easy to lose yourself after glancing at yourself in the mirror.

Part of your training as an actor is learning how to use your body. It's part of dancing, it's that forming the body into the character. I played a character that had ballet training and part of that informed the way she was stiff and unapproachable. My character in "Basic Instinct" she was such a hustler, she had that hustling, hustling movement [snaps her fingers] all the time. It just depends what you do. In "The Specialist" she was like a panther, always moving around always on the make. Once you get the way the character walks, I think that's it.

Basic Instinct

This character's exhausted, she's always stopped, always in that fatigue, that great fatigue. She was always taking care of people and therefore was exhausted. She's always that person.

I mean people put their characters together differently. And that really affects the way the clothes hang on the body. That was one of the great things to about working with [Robert] DeNiro. He's such a spectacular actor. He might put on 30 windbreakers, and he just works them on his body. I loved to watch him do that. You could see him looking for that little thing to ignite as the character. It was very informative for me to watch him because he's just the greatest at that. You can see it. And I think I learned so much just watching him. I was very blessed to have that experience. Learning with those people was sensational for me. And I feel that everything I've gotten to do since then reflects that deep opportunity of learning with them.

Do you continue to learn on set, or do you feel like you've mastered everything?

No, I continue to learn. You get to a point where you don't want to go to work if you're not gonna learn. I just worked with John Turturro, that guy's a genius. It's wonderful I love it. That's really the part I love about having this new -- it's really a new time in my career.

Yeah, I was going to ask you about this new stage in your career. You got to really stretch playing Dorothy, in a way you haven't been asked to before.

That's the great thing about being an older lady. I'm coming in, I'm playing a mom, I'm at another phase of life, I can play all kinds of different parts that I might not have been considered for before. I feel like another door has opened, that there's another room of possibilities. It's wonderful.

Does it feel more exciting now?

I wouldn't say exciting. It's more like, wow, there's all these extraordinary colleagues and it's almost like another wing of a library has opened, and look at all those books you can read! Look at all those things you can do. And then you can go talk to all of those really smart people. And wouldn't that be great! It's a different kind of excitement. It's more subtle. It's more of a kind of demurred enthusiasm.

"Lovelace" opens theatrically and on VOD this Friday.

This article is related to: Sharon Stone, Amanda Seyfried, Lovelace, RADiUS-TWC, Interviews, Martin Scorsese, Martin Scorsese, Martin Scorsese





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