9 Nov

Basic Instinct star gets intimate, honest & enchanting at Lasalle
By Sylvia Toh Paik Choo
November 09, 2010

IT WAS a masterclass in how to engage an audience.

Hollywood star Sharon Stone got full frontal upclose and tearfully personal with 200 people who had paid $161 each to be in the same room with her.

The Singapore Airlines Theatre at the Lasalle College Of The Arts provided the intimate setting, the stage set with ornate Indian furniture of two chairs and a table with Fiji Water – she drank straight from the bottle.

The file of fans and the curious, and guests of UBS, presenting sponsors of the Singapore Sun Festival, for which Stone is one of the headliners, could not wait to get in and out of the Saturday afternoon heat.

It was a mixed batch of men and women who knew the US actress’ name but could not recall her last film.

All is forgiven, Stone has not lit up a marquee in neon for a couple years.

But everybody remembered the erotic thriller, Basic Instinct (1992); more of that later.

Mr Yudhi, a 30-year-old businessman, had flown in from Jakarta just for the talk (the floor was open for questions in the last half hour).

He told The New Paper: ‘Huge fan, love Casino, I saw the advertisement for the event and instantly booked.’

For Mrs Inger Wong, it’d been an expensive exercise.

The tour guide, who’s in her 50s, said: ‘I bought two tickets, accidentally threw them away, and bought two more, but I would have paid anything for Sharon Stone.’

Forty-something housewife Sin Yew, when she told her son she was going to see Sharon Stone, got the teen thing: ‘Mum, you’ve got to be kidding.’

A handful of 23-year-olds who had been given free tickets, added: ‘Why not, let her beauty and brains impress us.’

To that end, the talented, lovely, funny, smart MsStone did – talking well beyond the allotted two hours and hooking the crowd every step of the way.

Tall and lean, blonde hair ponytailed, a gold Indian shawl over a little black dress and five-inch heels, pale make-up, Stone discoursed on what’s on top of her fridge, the boom box her parents bought, her sons and the paparazzi, the plays she put on in the garage, the hypnotist in Mexico, and a whole lot in between.

Stone is 52, Buddhist, ready to enter into a love relationship now, and energised about her work.

‘You’re not our first choice, Karen’

Welcome to Singapore and how’s it going so far?

‘It’s like one long day with naps in between.’

There was also the press conference on Friday, a gala dinner on Saturday night and a brunch auction Sunday.

At the intimate 12-table event – at $3,000 per table – held at The Fullerton Hotel after the talk, Stone was stunning in a gold cocktail dress. She even stopped to shake hands with this reporter, saying thank you for the nice questions earlier.

Her three adopted sons Roan, 10, Laird, five, and Quinn, four, will miss her this week, but know what their mum does for a living.

With each boy, ‘I introduce them to the paparazzi at four, the age they can understand, when they are in the playground, there are people taking pictures.

‘Laird calls them ‘monkeys’ as they climb trees across the street.’ (Beverly Hills, that is.)

Her own childhood in main street small-town America was no less imaginative.

She wrote, produced, directed and composed plays in the family’s two-car garage, ‘dragged the neighbour’s kids in, my sister had long hair and I made her do all sorts with it’.

When it came Stone’s turn to be made to do all sorts of things, she’d left Pennsylvania for New York City to model (after winning a beauty contest at home).

‘My parents would not let me go away for acting class unless I had a job, and for some reason, my mother thought modelling was a solid job!’ Stone laughs and winks.

Two no-line parts

Two no-line parts were her start, first with Woody Allen and next with James Caan. How lucky can a girl get?

‘They said to me the girl who’s supposed to do this has been stung by a bee (pause for effect). In the face. Can you come and do the walk-on?’

Someone give Sharon Stone a comedy – she’s funny, or she’s a good actress and knows how to milk it.

‘Basic Instinct was my 18th film and I was the 14thchoice.’

And the casting crew never let her forget it.

She mimicked: ‘The guy would say, you’re not our first choice, Karen, there were 14 others before you, Karen, do you think you can do this, Karen?’

Stone said it was a risk for co-star Michael Douglas – what if it had bombed?

It was Stone’s breakout role.

‘(Basic Instinct) director Paul Verhoeven, who I love, is a genius like James Cameron, he was always shouting and screaming.

‘So I went to a hypnotist in Mexico and he said, after the session, you won’t be bothered by it again.’

The two scripts she read, Basic Instinct and 1995’s Casino, she keeps on top of the fridge (‘I don’t know why, so I can see them’).

She so ‘got’ the characters, she hunched up and confessed she’d hoped nobody else would get it.

‘This was a crazy, naked, bizarre character (in Basic Instinct), I saw the elite mind, the sophistication, it was honed and deft, like inviting the devil to a cocktail party.

‘Oh yeah, man, to play an unbridled character, find her, mainline her and let it rip, let every sense of knowingness come through.

‘No one but me got her.’

During the shoot for Casino, she had health problems and needed surgery.

‘When you’re doing a movie, you don’t have surgery, no flu, nothing, you just show up for work.

‘So I had root canal without novocain, I took painkillers, and really became Ginger, the drugged and stoned character.’

To this day, she owes her Best Actress Oscar nomination and Golden Globe win for Ginger in Casino to the meds.

We also went soft at some of her personal anecdotes.

‘My parents were married for 60 years,’ she began, and warned she was going to cry.

Then, in tears: ‘My father got up every time my mother entered the room, he walked on the outside of the road beside her, and he got up from his coma to kiss her goodbye before he died.

‘For their 58th anniversary, they got a boom box because they wanted to dance in the yard.’

Stone had the audience eating out of her hands, rapt with the enchanted storytelling.

Whoa, we love her, she’s been worth every cent of the $161, one said.

There’s even an encore.

‘I’m going to be doing Rin Tin Tin, something my sons can watch.’


The NewPaper


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