“He taught me so much. He has been such a profoundly important human rights activist, and I admire him so much. He isn’t afraid to play the villain; he’ll say, ‘It’s the best part—you can do whatever you want,'” Stone said.
Stone later told InStyle that she made $500,000 for the film, while Douglas took home $14 million.
Sharon Stone Was “Horrified, Naked, and Stained With Fake Blood” After an Accident on Set
Stone admitted that she almost passed out while filming the opening (and iconic) ice pick stabbing sequence after her onscreen victim became unconscious. “I began to panic; I thought that the retractable fake ice pick had failed to retract and that I had in fact killed him,” Stone wrote in her memoir. “The fury of the sequence coupled with the director screaming, ‘Hit him, harder, harder!’ and, ‘More blood, more blood!’ as the guy under the bed pumped more fake blood through the prosthetic chest, had already made me weak.”
Turns out that Stone had “hit the actor so many times in the chest” that he lay unconscious. “I was horrified, naked, and stained with fake blood. And now this,” Stone penned. “It seemed like there was no line I wouldn’t be asked to skate up to the very edge of to make this film.”
Sharon Stone Couldn’t Shake Her Serial Killer Alter Ego
Oscar winner Stone called her “Basic Instinct” role “by far the most stretching that I had ever done in terms of considering the dark side of myself.”
The “terrifying” character led to sleepwalking and “hideous nightmares” while filming. In a 1992 interview with Playboy (via Mental Floss), Stone revealed production had a paramedic with an oxygen mask ready to assist her if she felt like she needed to faint. Yet it wasn’t until Stone realized she had to tap into “the roar of the kill” that she felt like she as Catherine was in control.
Stone had to “tap into that rage” to play a serial killer, saying in her memoir, “It was terrifying to look into the shadow self and to release it onto film for the world to see, to allow people to believe that I was ‘like that.’ Even more, to let myself know that I have or had darkness within.”
Yet being “ugly” onscreen was “the most freeing thing” Stone said she had ever done.
“Basic Instinct” Isn’t Just About Sex: It’s All About Evil
Director Verhoeven told The New York Times that the film, while erotic, was really about the “evil” living in the 1990s. “I always thought that with an economy falling down, with the dangers of life all around you — the danger of AIDS, the danger of crime — people are more aware of the fact that evil is an existing, everyday factor in your life,” Verhoeven said. “But this is my intuition. I don’t want to push it. As an artist, as a director, it’s sometimes better not to be too clear with yourself about what you’re doing. Otherwise you might be pushing too hard.”
Paul Verhoeven Had to Plead with the MPAA to Not Get a NC-17 Rating
Verhoeven’s contract required a R-rating for the film, but the many sex scenes led to an initial NC-17 rating. Verhoeven reportedly had to go back to the MPAA eight times before landing an R.
“Because it was a thriller, the idea that Sharon Stone could kill him during sex was always an element of protection,” Verhoeven previously told Rolling Stone. “So we could show sex and nudity much longer than normal, because there was another element there — the element of threat.”
Verhoeven continued, “But going back and forth between the studio or the editing room and the MPAA, having to go back and change more and more frames … it was very unpleasant.” To note, Verhoeven only cut 40 seconds of footage to land the R rating.
“Strangely enough,” Verhoeven added, “the shot of Sharon Stone spreading her legs was never a problem.”