Sharon Stone’s $500,000 Pay for Basic Instinct

Sharon Stone recently disclosed that she was paid a mere $500,000 for her role in the 1992 blockbuster Basic Instinct, while her co-star Michael Douglas earned $14 million. The film grossed nearly $353 million at the box office, partly due to Stone’s infamous leg-crossing scene. Stone shared this information during her appearance at the New York Women In Film and Television’s 43rd Annual Muse Awards.

Disrespect and Humiliation on Set

Stone also revealed that a line producer on the film continually referred to her as Karen instead of her real name, even at the Governor’s Ball after the Oscars. The actress felt deeply humiliated by this experience, despite her name appearing on the movie poster.

Controversial Scene and Verhoeven’s Deception

In her autobiography, The Beauty of Living Twice, Stone alleged that director Paul Verhoeven tricked her into removing her underwear for the notorious police interrogation scene. She was told that her underwear was reflecting too much light, but her genitals would not be visible on camera. Upon seeing the final cut, Stone slapped Verhoeven and immediately called her lawyer.

Ratings Battle and Empowerment

The film initially faced challenges with the Motion Picture Association of America, as it was on track to receive an NC-17 rating, which would have hurt its box office potential. After submitting the movie seven times, it finally received an R rating. At the 2019 GQ Awards, Stone addressed the leg-crossing scene, questioning whether it made the audience feel empowered.

New SAG Rules and No Regrets

Stone acknowledged that new Screen Actors Guild rules have been established to protect actors from such situations, but they were implemented after she made Basic Instinct. She concluded by saying, “Regrets are like farts, you can’t get them back. Once they’re out, they’re stinky and gone.”