Sharon Stone Says She Was Manipulated Into the Leg-Crossing Scene in ‘Basic Instinct’

The infamous leg-crossing scene in 1992’s Basic Instict is what comes to mind for most people when they think of Sharon Stone, but for the actress — the scene is iconic for a much darker reason.

In her memoir The Beauty of Living Twice, Stone revealed that she was told by the film’s director, Paul Verhoeven, that he vagina would not be visible in the scene opposite Michael Douglas and that she was asked to remove her underwear as the “white was reflecting the light.”

The scene has become a mainstay of pop culture and has inspired countless parodies and memes.

Stone recalled being called to see watch the completed film, “Not on my own with the director, as one would anticipate, given the situation that has given us all pause, so to speak, but with a room full of agents and lawyers, most of whom had nothing to do with the project,” she wrote.

“That was how I saw my vagina-shot for the first time, long after I’d been told, ‘We can’t see anything – I just need you to remove your panties, as the white is reflecting the light, so we know you have panties on.”

“I went to the projection booth, slapped Paul across the face.”

For his part, Verhoeven denies that he lied to the actress, saying in 2017 interview,

“Any actress knows what she’s going to see if you ask her to take off her underwear and point there with the camera.

“But when she saw the scene surrounded by other people, including her agent and her publicist, she went crazy.”

However, as Stone states in The Beauty of Living Twice, “Yes, there have been many points of view on this topic, but since I’m the one with the vagina in question, let me say: The other points of view are bullshit,” while also revealing that Verhoeven had made it clear at the time that she had not been his first choice for the part of Catherine Tramell.

“But I did have choices,” she also wrote. “So I thought and thought and I chose to allow this scene in the film. Why? Because it was correct for the film and for the character; and because, after all, I did it.”

Now, as the film’s 30th anniversary approaches, there are plans for an even racier director’s cut to be released, even though Stone is vehemently opposed to it happening.

“There are new [Screen Actors Guild] rules about that, [how they] have been made and created, but they were made after I, as a young lady, made this film, and so they don’t apply to me,” Stone told A Current Affair.

“I think that there’s a certain tone-deaf-ness when it comes to this type of behaviour,” Stone told Tracy Grimshaw.

“People want to just continue to push forward, and ignore the thoughts and feelings of how women in general feel about this, or people in general feel about it.

“No one asked me how I feel about it. I can tell you that.”

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