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Sharon Stone Shared Her ‘Basic Instinct’ Audition Tape (And No, It’s Not THAT Scene)

Sharon Stone Basic Instinct leg cross

Yesterday, for no apparent reason (other than #WaybackWednesday), Sharon Stone decided to tweet out her original audition reel for the 1992 erotic-thriller classic Basic Instinct. And that’s great! Not everything needs a big reason, right? In fact, sometimes the more we learn about the reasoning behind something we love — like, say, how a terrifying, murderous character originally came to be so terrifying and murderous — the less interesting it actually becomes.

But let’s just get right to it, shall we?

(That’s director Paul Verhoeven reading the Michael Douglas part with Stone, not some actor inappropriately imposing a Dutch accent onto Detective Nick Curran, just FYI.)

It’s hard to imagine anyone but Sharon Stone in the role of Catherine Trammell, and after seeing this audition tape, we can only assume everyone else waiting outside in the hallway reading their sides was immediately sent home. Dayum, she’s good.

At that point in her career, Stone had clearly already mastered how to absolutely smolder on-camera. She smokes, she boozes, she flips her hair, she mixes in playfully inviting smiles for spice — all in under 60 seconds. It’s a devastating recipe for viewers, and good on Verhoeven for recognizing it and insisting on casting her.

Verhoeven already knew all about Stone’s alluring-yet-dangerous appeal, having cast her previously as Arnold Schwarzenegger’s duplicitous, seductive wife in Total Recall. Douglas, however, wanted a big-name star in the role to share the potential risk of appearing in what everyone knew would be a controversial flick. He suggested Julia Roberts, among others, but neither Roberts nor twelve other actresses would take the part. The studio (and Douglas) may not have gotten that major star they had wanted, but they certainly got the right person for the part — and it made a major star out of her.

Anyway, thanks for sharing, Sharon!

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