You can't live your life in an effort to appease public opinion: Sharon Stone
The outspoken actress has a new series called 'Ratched' coming up on Netflix, and a new memoir coming out next year. She tells Margaret Gardiner all about it
"I don't think it's anybody's business what anybody else does. If a celebrity wants to raise money from their expensive house, that's democracy. They get to use their fame as their power - good for them for wanting to do anything," says Sharon Stone in answer to the criticism that celebrities who live in mansions shouldn't ask people to donate to causes during Covid-19.
"They don't have to do anything at all," she says. "They could just stay at home and eat and watch bad TV and be stoned all day."
Stone is promoting Ratched, a TV series from Ryan Murphy that explores how Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest became the woman of the 1975 film starring Jack Nicholson.
Stone, an Aids advocate, has also written a memoir, The Beauty of Living Twice, out next year.
"It's about giving voice to a voiceless piece of myself. I've had to be strong and tough to stay protective of my own voice and intention. When a woman puts down strong boundaries she's insane or a diva or a bitch or problematic."
Her voice wobbles. "You have to bear the cost. You can't live your life in an effort to appease public opinion. You have to live your life. Who gives a shit what someone else thinks? Do you live your life because of what your neighbour thinks?"
Stone is sitting in an exquisite room in her house. There's something of the lone gunslinger about her.
In the US, wearing a mask has become politicised, as has social distancing. Before her sister was hospitalised with Covid-19, Stone was on social media advocating social distancing and masks. When her sister and brother-in-law were diagnosed, she called out the selfishness of those who flout the health advisories of #StayHome.
WATCH | Sharon Stone chats to Margaret Gardiner about working with a cigarette-stealing monkey, her 'Rached' co-star, Sarah Paulson, and the cost of being labelled 'difficult'.
She also admits, "I've been living like a hermit for 20 years. I've given myself permission to go on my balcony and scream like I'm being murdered. I literally scream at the top of my lungs. What's so fantastic is that my neighbours seem to understand. No-one thinks it's strange in the least. Then I go inside and bang my head on my pillow. Then I go back to work."
That's not to say that Stone isn't open to meeting people. "I had a couple of dates; it could be a comedy show. Since the shutdown, since men have had to start cooking for themselves and taking care of themselves and being with themselves, they've started to talk like human beings. They're like tigers in a cage. They want out, but are starting to ask themselves: 'Do I have any actual values? What are they?' They're changing and not being so crazy. So yes, I'm still dating."
On a dating app? "Chemistry is something you have to feel, it's not something you can get on FaceTime."
WATCH | 'Ratched' trailer.
Asked to reflect on her career, she goes to Casino. "My dream was to work with Marty Scorsese and Robert de Niro. I got what I wanted. I find it odd that after fulfilling such a dream … I feel a little disappointed that other directors near to his stratosphere haven't offered me work. I don't really comprehend what happened. I know I got sick and had a stroke but I'm well now … What do I have to do?"
The Basic Instinct star also tells me about her role as the mother of adopted sons Quinn, Roan and Laird.
"They've seen everything. We've talked about Basic Instinct, about the way people like to presume power by being inappropriate vs the way things really are. They think I'm a badass and that I'm a good actress - they have a very stable sense of reality."
The woman who notes that she comes from three generations of maids may be a movie star, but life hasn't been a movie. She leans into things others run away from and she speaks her truth. In Murphy's Ratched she acts with a monkey on her back, literally. Talk about an allegory of her life.
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