When Sharon Stone accepted GQ’s Woman Of The Year award in Germany on Thursday, she recreated one of the most iconic movie moments in modern history– and asked the audience to do the same.
“Put your feet flat on the floor like mine, all of you. And I want you to join me in the moment that changed my life,” Stone said during her acceptance speech while crossing and uncrossing her legs. “Do you feel empowered?”
The moment Stone was referring to was a scene from the 1992 neo-noir thriller “Basic Instinct”, where her character Catherine Tramell is being interrogated by police — and she turns the tables on them. During the barrage of questions, she briefly uncrosses and crosses her legs, revealing that she isn’t wearing any underwear, getting her interrogators hot under the collar.
During Thursday’s more G-rated recreation, Stone re-stated her claim that the nudity in the film was without her consent.
“Some years ago, I was sitting on a sound stage, and my director said, ‘Can you hand me your underpants because we’re seeing them in the scene and you shouldn’t have underpants on but we won’t see anything.’
“I said, ‘Sure.’ I didn’t know this moment would change my life,” the 61-year-old said, referencing a conversation between her and “Basic Instinct” director Paul Verhoeven.
Verhoeven has always denied this, insisting there is simply no way he could have filmed that scene without her full knowledge or consent.
On Thursday, Stone began her speech standing up; but when she summoned her “neighbor” Billy Porter to bring a chair onto the stage so she could sit facing the audience, a knowing cheer rippled around Berlin’s Komische Oper.
During her speech, Stone reminded the audience that life-changing moments like hers happen to everyone, whether they are aware of it at the time or not — and that they would be held accountable for it, no matter how difficult that moment is for them.
“The time to decide who you are, is now. The time to decide what you do with the tender, important, beautiful, savage, passionate most important part of yourself… what are you going to do with it?” she asked.
“I’ll tell you what I did with mine — I respected it. And I would suggest that you all do the same. Because we have every right to be powerful in whatever form of sexuality we choose to have. And no one is allowed to take that away from you.”
She continued: “This thing has gotten way out of control, and it was way out of control before it started. And in my opinion, the only way it’s going to change is if we get real laws on the books. Misdemeanors and felonies. And we get real social services involved in our lives.”
“I stand here as Woman of the Year, not as an individual but to be with women and of women. And to be here in my grace and in my tenderness and in my dignity.”
“And I want to tell you, it was hard won after I only did that,” she said, uncrossing and crossing her legs one last time. “So I want to say thank you for choosing me to be Woman of the Year. Because there was a time when all I was was a joke.”
“Thank you very, very much,” she concluded to loud cheers, with a nod to the 30-year anniversary of the demolition of the Berlin Wall. “Let’s let every wall continue to come down.”