"By the time of a screening, I had become famous to the point that I could no longer be protected," Sharon Stone recalled in an interview with So Film magazine. In 1992, the actress took her (very) noticed first steps on the red carpet of the Cannes Film Festival. To the point of stealing the show from his filming partner Michael Douglas. The duo then presented the film Basic Instinct, directed by Paul Verhoeven and screened during the opening ceremony of the event. Sharon Stone plays the sensual Catherine Tramell, a wealthy novelist adept at ice picks. The role, refused by multiple actresses, will propel the actress to the front of the stage, and will erect her to the rank of international sex symbol.
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Sharon Stone was paid $ 13.5 million less than Michael Douglas for Basic Instinct
However, there was no sign of such a welcome. At the beginning of the 1990s, Sharon Stone was still unknown to the general public. On the evening of May 7, 1992, the Croisette, in full effervescence, is rather delighted to welcome the American actor Michael Douglas, hero of In pursuit of the diamond worm(1984) and Wall Street (1987), which earned him the Oscar for best actor. Only downside: the actor with the brush cut, dressed in a simple tuxedo and a bow tie, pales in comparison with his filming partner, blonde naiad with a devastating smile and an ultra-low-cut black and white dress.
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The other side of the coin
Michael Douglas and Sharon Stone attend the screening of Basic Instinct. (Cannes, 7 May 1992.) Getty Images
Sharon Stone's performance completes to bring her into the legend of Cannes - and of course, Hollywood. "I became world famous," she explained in the columns of So Film, twenty years later. Before, I was practically nobody. After that, it was something excessive in everything." This sudden spotlight is accompanied, indeed, by multiple setbacks. The actress is thus harassed even in her Cannes hotel, as the public was conquered by her performance. "The lobby was filled with a hundred people," she continues. I stayed one night in this hotel and the next day I just had time to take a dip in the pool. And you know what happened to me when I got out of the pool? All my personal belongings had been stolen. All I had left was my bath towel, sunglasses and a pair of high heels."
The stars at Nice airport for the Cannes Film Festival
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The price of success turns out to be much higher than expected. In March, Sharon Stone confided on the Table for Two podcast that she had lost custody of her son in 2004, because of his performance in the film. "The judge asked my little boy (then 4 years old, Editor's note): 'Do you know that your mother makes sex movies?'" she said. It was a form of abuse on the part of the system (...)" At the same time, she revealed during the 43rd edition of the Muse Awards to have been paid $ 13.5 million (12.4 million euros) less than Michael Douglas on the set of the feature film. Since then, the actress has made a place for herself in Hollywood. His former filming partner will be at the center of attention, this Tuesday, May 16, on the steps of the Cannes Film Festival, where he will receive the Palme d'Or of Honor of the event.