Sharon Stone has reflected on her famous scene in Basic Instinct.

In 1992, the Total Recall actress gained international recognition for her role as Catherine Tramell in the neo-noir erotic thriller Basic Instinct. This movie co-starred Michael Douglas and was directed by Paul Verhoeven. Stone recently spoke to Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace? On Max and CNN about one of the most iconic scenes in the film.

“When I was breaking down the script, I thought the thing about Catherine Tremmell, is that she speaks man,” Stone recalls. “And because she speaks man, it’s so confounding to the men in the room. Because she speaks back to them in the exact same way they speak to her, which is a showstopper.”

“I think it was absolutely not only right for the character, but it was systematically correct for that period in time. We were very challenged with the AIDS controversy…that film got a triple X on its first…review with the review board. Now, you see so little of anything in this film, actually. And now we see men with full frontal nudity on television. But still, we look at that film as such a scandalous, controversial moment in filmmaking. And really, it’s quite benign by comparison to almost anything we see now.”

Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct


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Reflecting on acting in this scene and its legacy, Stone said, “First of all, my acting teacher, Roy London said to me, ‘This is an action movie. And this scene stops all the action.’ And he said, ‘So every single moment in that scene has to be very specific; you have to be super present and on the moment.’ I think that that is the key to acting, it’s the key to living, it’s the key to everything is to be super present in the moment. I did not know that my being super present in that moment would change the dynamic of my life forever.”

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