Sharon Stone says she made only ‘a little bit of money’ from her breakout role in Basic Instinct – Michael Douglas made $14m

·2-min read
 (Rex Features)
(Rex Features)

Sharon Stone has revealed that she only made “a little bit of money” from Basic Instinct.

The 1992 thriller starring Stone as Catherine Tramell opposite Michael Douglas’s Nick Curran is often credited as her breakout role.

Speaking with CBC’s Q with Tom Power, the 63-year-old revealed that while the film propelled her career, she was paid “little” money for it.

“I didn’t get paid to do Basic Instinct. I made a little bit of money. Michael made $14m (£9.87m) and has points,” she said.

“Points” are in reference to the percentage of box office revenue received beginning from the first day of the film’s release.

The actor continued: “I made not enough money to buy my dress to go to the Oscars the next year. I was in this weird limbo where I was suddenly famous, but didn’t have any money.”

Stone’s performance as Tramell earned her nominations for a Golden Globe Award, Chicago Film Critics Association Award and Saturn Award.

Speaking about the overnight success that followed the thriller’s release, she said: “It’s Friday and you’re you. Tuesday, you’re The Beatles. People are climbing all over your car. You try to walk down the street and suddenly 30 people that were shopping are running, chasing you.”


Asked whether she could afford to hire private security, the Oscar nominated actor replied: “I didn’t have what I needed.”

Stone recalled a particularly “insane” incident that occurred during the 1992 Canne Film Festival, just over a month after Basic Instinct had been released in the US.

“I got back to my hotel and all of my belongings had been stolen except the clothes on my back. My contact lenses, my film out of my camera, my toothbrush – everything was gone,” she said.

In an effort to leave the hotel without the protection of security, the hotel staff “created this big circle that I and my two girlfriends were inside of and then they try to take me through the lobby”.

“There were so many people, hundreds of people, pulling at us and going berserk. So this was our introduction, ‘Hello, you’re famous.’ We had no idea,” said the actor.

Stone has previously alleged that she was tricked into showing her bare crotch in Basic Instinct, with the film’s director Paul Verhoeven maintaining that “Sharon is lying”.

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