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It's always fun to play the villain

Interview by Anwar Brett

Twelve years after her career making performance in Basic Instinct, rumours of a sequel continue to circulate around Sharon Stone. The actress who once gave Arnold Schwarzenegger a good kicking in Total Recall has had varied success since her breakthrough. Highlights include Sam Raimi's The Quick And The Dead, Casino, Sphere, and The Muse. Stone's most recent credits are Cold Creek Manor and A Different Loyalty.

The film makes a sly dig at the attitudes towards women in the cosmetics business, and by extension in the film industry too. Were you trying to make a point?

That speech came from a conversation that I had with our producer, Denise DiNovi, one afternoon. We were talking about what had happened when I so openly started announcing that I was 40. I was actually 39 and working like mad and told everyone that I was about to hit 40. I think they misheard that I had leprosy, and suddenly I didn't work for a while. Denise said we should put that in the movie. I think that there was a lot of truth to that at that time but things have evolved now. I'm not particularly interested in pretending to be 35 for seven years, but now I think there has been an evolution where you can be 45 and work in film, where you can actually say you're 45 and still have an interesting career.

You look great though. Did you work out for the role?

When we were doing the movie and I saw Halle in the Catsuit I went straight to the gym, and I worked out all the time that we were shooting. Once she took off the suit I never worked out again.

Would you ever consider plastic surgery?

I'm not big on plastic surgery - for me - but I don't fault it for someone who wants it for them. I think you have to do what makes you feel good in you, what works for you. But it's not my thing.

Tell us about the fight between you and Halle at the climax of the film.

I love the way that [director] Pitof chose to create that fight sequence. Instead of making it some kind of wild, on-wire effects scene he made it like a bar brawl. I thought that was very interesting, to put these two women into this wild, primal scene, that made it very exciting and much more interesting than some hair-pulling contest.

Is it fun playing the villain?

It is so fun. The villain's always the best part because no-one is going to come up and say "you're character wouldn't do that" because your character would do anything. So it's always fun to play the villain.

Did anyone from the past inspire you in this role?

I didn't really look at it like that but I have to say that over the years I've always loved the old films and the way those women played those bad girl roles in the movies.

Did your son visit the set at all?

Roan was on the set but he's too young to watch the movie. He's four, I don't think he needs to see me killing people right now. But it was so cute when Halle came on the set as Catwoman, he was overwhelmed, he didn't know what to do. Then she went and got in front of the camera and he watched her and turned to me and said, "Mommy, she's not the 'wheal' Catwoman, she's just a pretend Catwoman!"




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