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BASIC INSTINCTS AROUSED AGAIN
by Brad Balfour
©2006 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved.
April 11, 2006.
For Sharon Stone,
the first Basic Instinct film, directed by Paul Verhoeven, was
quite an odyssey; it established her as a provocative sex symbol, an
actress willing to open herself up (and her legs) for the camera. In that
film, she played a lesbian crime novelist accused of acting her tortured
murder mysteries; along the way she had rough sex with the police
detective investigating her (Michael Douglas).
Nearly fifteen years
later, Stone grapples with getting older and finding age appropriate
roles. In the meantime she finally has this chance to reprise her
character of Catherine Trammell as older, deadlier and campier as well –
and in England no less.
As time has passed
since the last movie, what have you added to the character of Catherine
pause] With a character like that over time, she becomes so much more
observational and much more dangerous, because of her need and desire to
be loved and her desperate disability to accomplish that. So I thought at
the beginning of the movie, she really truly was suicidal, and it really
was… Wow! Even here, I'm not really feeling that much, and even here,
it's just another buzz and it really isn't going to get me. It's like
playing with the police is as little buzz but it's not much anymore, so to
find someone that maybe understands her and gets her is like a dim flick
of a light of hope. It takes a while for her to engage, which is very
risky in a movie like this, because she's a little bit out of it. You want
the character to be interesting, but you have to find a way to make her
interesting while she's disparate and disconnected.
Why did it take so
long to get the sequel going and why did you stick by it while others
Well, they tried
other things over the years. They had all these different ideas. They even
sold it to a different producer who wanted to make it with a different
actress. He called me into have a meeting, and talk to me about it, and I
explained to him, "Great idea, let's do it."
How long ago was
Like a year or year
and a half ago. I said, "Great idea, let me tell you my take on the
character and if you want me to take her out to lunch and talk to her
about it, I will. She's great." And then he got completely freaked out.
Who was the actress?
I don't think it's
appropriate to say.
Last year was
Hollywood's "gay year" and now
Basic Instinct 2
is coming out...
This year can be
Hollywood's "sex year."
When the first movie
came out, there was a big controversy about evil lesbians. How do you see
this in the context of today's society?
What's so terrific
is that I think we did break those borders, and break the boundaries of
sexuality and homosexuality and all of these kinds of things that were so
taboo. Because of that, we have broken all kinds of boundaries and are
afforded all kinds of things to be spoken about and done in filmmaking.
I'm really proud of the boundaries we broke. You know, when I was
nominated for a Golden Globe for the first film, people laughed in the
room, because they couldn't cope that a film of our kind of controversy
got critical acclaim. But you know what? Who's laughing now? The film is
still playing. It's still being rented. People still know that character
by name, and look at the kinds of films that are being made as a result of
taboos being broken in the theatre. I'm thrilled.
Do you think there
is less taboo breaking in
Well, I mean, jeez,
what are you going to do? We are able and allowed and afforded the
possibility of being who and what we are as humans in filmmaking, and you
know what? I couldn't be more pleased.
So in the place of
male protagonist played by Michael Douglas we have English actor David
You know what's
really interesting is that they like to talk about who turned down the
part. I'd like to thank the thirteen women who turned down Basic
Instinct 1, because I was the fourteenth choice. They want to
say so-and-so turned down being in Basic Instinct 2. I'd like to
thank each and every one of them for turning it down. So I got to have
David Morrissey, because I feel about him, like I think Mario Cassar feels
about me in Basic Instinct 1. I couldn't be more thrilled that
every single person turned down Basic Instinct 2. I'd like to write
them a thank you note; because there isn't anybody I'd rather have in that
movie then David Morrissey. There isn't anybody who could play that part
better, and there isn't anybody who is more handsome and sexy and talented
and interesting, and there isn't anybody that would have caused me to be
more challenged and on my toes and on my game than David Morrissey. That
guy is a giant star. He is super talented, super smart, witty, interesting
and fabulous, and even more. He's a spectacular human being, and I loved
working with him.
How different was
director Michael Caton-Jones approach to making this film from Paul
Night and day. That
was also very challenging and interesting, because you know, Paul
Verhoeven believed in me and trusted me and brought me to this movie when
I don't think anyone else would or could have. I was very lucky and
enormously indebted to Paul. I just adore him. Playing Catherine Trammell,
you're in a very peculiar and weird headspace, and it's not an affable
place, because you bring out the darkness in everybody, and then you don't
have any compassion for them. You just kind of watch them like a rat in a
maze. And so, Paul totally understood that, because he pushed me to be
that, but coming to work as that, was someone who didn't invent that with
me and for me is also very different. Michael wanted me to be that, but I
can't say he liked me very much when I was being that. When the movie was
over, we liked each other really a lot, because we both respected and
admired each other for staying in our game and doing a good job. But it's
not pretty to be Catherine Trammell.
The lesbian aspect
was played down a bit.
Well, you know we
had a ménage a trois scene with this glorious French actress, but when we
took everything to the ratings board, they just made us cut out a bunch of
stuff and that was one of the things they made us cut out. I think it's
been on the internet, and you can see her there. She was so lovely and
pretty and talented and interesting and hot.
So this wasn't
No, no... We had a
limit and we were over it.
Do you think that
part will be on the DVD?
I think they'll do a
Being older and
having more years of experience, does that add new qualities to Catherine
I hope so, I hope
that I was a little more like Michael than in the first one, where I came
to work a little more relaxed and more generous and more able to be there
for other people and more comfortable in general as an artist. When I came
to work on the first one, I was paralyzed. I kept waiting for them to
replace me with the actor they really wanted. You know, why me? Why did I
get so lucky that I got the part? In this one, who else were they going to
get? So I'll probably get to play it all the way through. I was able to be
more sure, and I think over time, you come to understand that a movie's
just a movie, and it isn't everything.
Will there be a
Basic Instinct 3?
You know, it's really funny. It never crossed my mind and then on this
press tour, people keep asking me that and I keep thinking… wow… At the
beginning, when we left for the first country, I thought "NO! God!" and
now like six countries later, I'm like "Oh my God... what if they really
want to do that?"
Would you bring
anything different to the character if you did
Yeah, my wheelchair…