Sharon Stone with Frank Rousseau
Hollywood's sexiest 60 something gave us this interview via Skype. Despite the shelter in place measures she is having to put up with like billions of other people around the planet, the recently-turned-62 star proves that she has lost nothing of her quick wit and ready repartee. Basically, she is still as sharp as Catherine Tramell's ice pick in ‘Basic Instinct’!
So, dear Sharon, where have you been sheltering in place – if I may ask?
I'm on my bedroom balcony here in my house in Los Angeles which, by the way, has never been quieter. Hardly anyone has been setting foot outside, so there are fewer people on the roads and therefore less pollution. The air has never been cleaner. My roses certainly won’t be complaining! They have never looked better. I can't wait to see how my little vines will look in September. I'm not planning on venturing into winemaking. It's just that I love grapes, the connection with the soil and time!
What have you missed the most since you have been deprived of a normal life?
A normal life? Are you kidding me? I've been in lockdown for 20 years already! Way before Covid 19, I hardly ever went out of the house because of the paparazzi! What do I miss the most? Being in Saint Tropez or Cannes, at the terrace of a café and wetting my lips on a glass of ice-cool rosé! I think it was Baudelaire who said “To drink wine is to drink genius” and you French have a perfect command of the subject!
I imagine that unlike Catherine Tramell in ‘Basic Instinct’, you don’t use an ice pick to uncork a bottle?
(laughs). No! I use a regular corkscrew! Not one with a gas bottle. That's my purist side coming out! I don't see why, when it comes to uncorking a great wine, only men should be allowed to put the bottle between their thighs? There’s nothing impolite about it. On the contrary, it puts us women on an equal footing! Gentlemen, you'll have to get used to it!
During these anxiety-inducing times, has savouring a good wine allowed you to forget certain things?
The last time I laughed out loud was when I found out that painting on canvas wasn't really my thing! To pass the time during shelter in place, I took out my gouache and brushes. But then, when I saw how appalling the result was, I cheered myself up by opening a bottle of wine from Provence and serving it with some olives! And low and behold, away went the frustrations!
You’ve never considered yourself a sex symbol (!) but even so, it can’t be easy seeing yourself get old. Is it true that your Prozac is wine?
In my opinion, getting old gracefully is about accepting your imperfections. They are the proof that you've lived! That you have a story to tell. The day I started approaching 50, I locked myself in my bathroom. I was naked. No makeup. Then I sat on a stool and looked at myself in the mirror with a bottle of wine in my hand. I said to myself, “You're not coming out of this bathroom until you've reconciled yourself with the reflection in that mirror! Until you've accepted the idea that you'll never be the same again!” Then I cried! Boy did I cry and since then I've stopped cheating about my age, stopped moping in front of my mirror. Stopped lying to myself!
What was the wine in this story?
A Bordeaux. I think it was even the year I was born. A 1958 vintage. When I think about it, I think I also cried because there was nothing left in the bottle! (laughs)
Interview by Frank Rousseau, our correspondent in Los Angeles.