The September issue of Harper’s Bazaar has an in-depth profile on Sharon Stone, who, for many of us, is one of those people with whom it’s easy to forget that we’ve forgotten about. Over the decades, she’s continuously come and gone out of the public eye, never sticking around all that long before fading out again. Which is maybe why I’m guessing most of us had no idea what she’s been through over the last decade and a half. Stone opened up a LOT here, and said some pretty remarkable things, ranging from the inspiring to the WTF.
On when she found herself, Sharon Stone: Oscar nominee, doing a guest stint on Law & Order: SVU, unable to remember her lines.
“That was humiliating,” the actress recalls. “Having worked with the finest people in the industry, I was like, ‘Wow, I’m really at the back of the line here. I’m wearing L’eggs panty hose, and in makeup they start out by putting this white primer on my face.’ I’m like, ‘This is so bad. What did I do to deserve this?’ “
Between 2001 and 2010, Stone suffered a brain hemorrhage that lasted nine days, her marriage fell apart, and she lost custody of her son. Add to that the embarrassment of the SVU gig, and how the hell did she get out of that rut?
“I thought, ‘You know what? I got thrown off the bullet train, and now I’m going to have to crawl up a hill of broken glass, get back on the train that’s going a million miles an hour, and work my way from the cattle car up. That’s just the way it is, so I’d better get humble and shut the fuck up and do the job. Because if I can’t do this job, I’m certainly not going to be able to do anything else.’ “
On that time she almost died.
As she recalls it, she felt unwell for three days before she went to the emergency room. It turned out she’d had a stroke, and she lost consciousness soon after being admitted. “When I came to, the doctor was leaning over me. I said, ‘Am I dying?’ And he said, ‘You’re bleeding into your brain,’ ” she remembers. “I said, ‘I should call my mom,’ and he said, ‘You’re right. You could lose the ability to speak soon.’ ” Stone’s mother flew in from Pennsylvania so quickly that she arrived at her daughter’s bedside still in her gardening shorts.
She dealt with a lot of physical and mental anguish after her stroke, but there were positive changes as well, including ending up with the best excuse for any behavior ever.
On the plus side, “I became more emotionally intelligent. I chose to work very hard to open up other parts of my mind. Now I’m stronger. And I can be abrasively direct. That scares people, but I think that’s not my problem.” She laughs. “It’s like, I have brain damage; you’ll just have to deal with it.”
Stone posed nude for this Harper’s Bazaar spread, and the pictures range from the exquisitely uncomfortable to easy and fun. She talked about her changing relationship with her body.
“I’m aware that my ass looks like a bag of flapjacks,” she jokes. “But I’m not trying to be the best-looking broad in the world. At a certain point you start asking yourself, ‘What really is sexy?’ It’s not just the elevation of your boobs. It’s being present and having fun and liking yourself enough to like the person that’s with you.
She has no problem with fillers.
“It’s so common now for people to use fillers, it’s almost like a beauty treatment,” she explains. “It’s like you have mascara and a filler. And it’s a far better alternative than having your face cut apart and ending up looking like you got sucked into a wind tunnel.”
Just to give you an idea of what a typical day in the life of Sharon Stone looks like, it involves Himalayan singing bowls.
Over the past two decades, Stone has cultivated a deep interest in Buddhism, sparked when she met the Dalai Lama through Richard Gere, her costar in 1994’s Intersection. (She says that back then, she really didn’t know who the Dalai Lama was, but when they met she was “overcome” by his energy and launched into a 20-minute laughing fit. “All my sadness was blowing out in laughter,” she says.) At home her sons (she adopted Laird, now 10, in 2005 and Quinn, now nine, in 2006; Roan, 15, visits often) use traditional Himalayan singing bowls at the dinner table and are instructed to meditate during their time-outs.
She’s terrible at dating.
“I never get asked out,” she laments. “It’s so stupid. I don’t know what to do.” Lately, she says, “I’ve been getting more brazen with flirting, but I don’t think men realize that I’m flirting. They just think, Oh, she’s fun!” She turns to her longtime assistant and asks, “Do you think people even realize I’m straight? I think they have questions about it because I have so many lesbian friends right now.”
No, but like REALLY terrible.
As we wrap up the interview and she prepares to slip out of her bathrobe, Stone smiles slyly, picks up my tape recorder, and holds it to her mouth, enunciating slowly into the microphone. “If there’s anybody out there who’s an adult and who would like to ask me out,” she says, “please call Harper’s Bazaar.”