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1999

Casino

Sharon Stone Interview

By Douglas Thompson
www.dougiethompson.com

Sharon Stone has always shot from the lip.She's quick on the drawl. And usually very amusing. And wickedly naughty.

She says she's now a split personality. There's the public Sharon Stone, the lacy, racy, glamourous superstar she created following the sensational reaction to 'Basic Instinct' . Then there's the reflective and thoughtful woman from the small steel town of Meadville , Pennsylvania .

The difference between the two is now so dramatic that she says of her brash, busty blonde persona: 'It's as if she lives in another house. She pretty much has her own life now. It doesn't include me anymore.

'I can't watch over her anymore. She's become public domain. We never know what's going to happen. It would be pointless to concern myself with it.

'Audiences want a resurgence of the old-fashioned movie star. I think they want me to be bigger than life.'

But she says she is now making her own decisions. As one of Hollywood 's most powerful players she produced as well as starred in 'The Quick and the Dead'. The revenge-themed Western also stars Oscar-winner Gene Hackman and Stone's favourite actor, the 19-year-old Leonardo DiCaprio who she predicts will 'be the biggest star we've seen in decades.'

But it is in the upcoming 'Casino' in which she engages in some controversial sex scenes. It's back to basics.

Despite accounts that wanted to lose her raunchy image she makes no apologies for her choice of a less than demure role saying 'As long as you don't have fear you can do anything.'

She proved her point at the Cannes Film Festival this year. There it was revealed that she had signed a $50 million dollar deal with Miramax Films which, in effect, turned her into a Hollywood mogul.

She will either star in or produce or do both in a string of future projects as well as take the lead in a Marlene Dietrich bio-film and a remake of the 1958 Kim Novak comedy 'Bell, Book and Candle.'

She could be the first topless Tinseltown tycoon. For it seems she is not stepping too far away from her 'Basic Instinct' image. At a Cannes charity dinner she turned up in a Valentino thigh-high gold silk hot pants suit. It was a reminder of a stunt played by Madonna in the French resort and Stone said:' Anything Madonna can do I can do better.'

She has not lost the movie star presence olr cheek chic. Or her penchant for raunchy movie promotion. The weirdest, wildest and -- depending on your point of view -- hottest sex scenes of 1995 are in 'Casino' set in sleazy Las Vegas clubs. Stone as the wife of Robert De Niro has to submit to the sexual demands of that other Scorsese regular Joe Pesci.

'He'll kill her if she doesn't,' explains Stone adding:' That's why the sex scenes are so charged.. I wouldn't call them love scenes.'

Audiences don't see Stone or Pesci naked but she added:' There is certainly an indication that we are.' Pesci, a foot shorter than Stone, enjoyed his S/M lust encounters. How about his leading lady? 'These scenes are not always the easiest to film. But these were certainly unique.'

And she plans to keep presenting more sensation. She's called her company Chaos Productions but Miramax co-chairman Harvey Weinstein expects big profits not disorganisation:' There's no star around that's more glamorous or smarter. With payments and shares of the profits as star and producer she won't be making peanuts.'

The deal ran full circle in her basic ambition:' It feels great to be a mogul because when I was a kid growing up in I said I was going to be an actress and everyone told me I was crazy. It took me thirteen years before I had a hit movie. It took a lot of willpower and fortitude to keep working towards my dreams.

'Now, I want to run the entire movie business.

'I'm in control at last.

'I've had some lean, difficult times. And after all the excitement and hype and fame it was doing ''The Quick and the Dead'' which brought me back to my centre. I don't make choices now for the public. In the first eighteen months after ''Basic Instinct'' I made a lot of choices for the public.

'Where to go, how I should behave. I felt that the responsibility of being famous was to exemplify positive behaviour. Which I still think. But I had stopped allowing myself room for error. And I had lost the ability to say:'' Hey, I made a mistake so sue me!

'I have a feeling that we all have a predetermined destiny. What we bring to the party is how much integrity we meet our destiny with. This has a lot to do with fame and how you handle it. I always felt I was going to be famous. There are things you know about yourself and your future.'

And she plans to play her future by her rules.

She says that being the boss on 'The Quick and the Dead' and involved in the casting as well as the choice of director and screenwriter re-educated her in the merit of taking chances:' I think risks are terribly exciting. I'd rather lose than be timid. After all we're just an amalgamation of the experiences we've had.

'If you don't take risks eventually you're nothing.'

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