‘Basic Instinct’ Director Paul Verhoeven Once Believed Sharon Stone Wanted to Sleep With Him

Actor Sharon Stone and her director Paul Verhoeven had a complicated relationship while doing Basic Instinct. Although the two would clash frequently, they also became very close on set. So much so that Verhoeven once believed that Stone might have wanted to sleep with him.

Paul Verhoeven cast Sharon Stone in ‘Basic Instinct’ because of her mean-streak

Sharon Stone smiling while wearing a pink suit.
Sharon Stone | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

As many know, Stone wasn’t the first choice to be cast as the manipulative and iconic Catherine Tramell in Basic Instinct. Other higher profile celebrities were first considered, but Stone was eventually chosen. One of the reasons Verhoeven cast Stone was because he thought the actor could capture the darker side of her character’s personality.

“I thought Sharon could capture the evil and the charm of the character in one performance because these two elements are strongly present in her. I wouldn’t call her evil,” Verhoeven once told the LA Times. “But she has a lovely side and a shadowy side and in the film she has to play someone who is in control of those parts of herself but Sharon, I don’t think is in control of them in her own life so much. She is very volatile, very shadowy.”

To emphasize his point, Verhoeven believed that Stone wasn’t always the nicest actor behind the scenes.

“She can be so goddamned mean. She really knows what buttons to push to get to you. She’s manipulative. I don’t know if it’s a feeling of power or if some man hurt her although that’s a little bit of a cliché. But Sharon is very hard to know,” he added.

Paul Verhoeven once believed that Sharon Stone might’ve wanted to sleep with him

Despite Stone’s alleged behavior, Verhoeven couldn’t help but still feel enchanted by the actor.

“I hated her as much as I loved her,” Verhoeven once said according to SF Gate. “And I really loved her. And although she denies that, I think it was similar for her.”

Verhoeven was also asked if he believed the Casino star was interested in being intimate with him.

“Yes, I think so,” Verhoeven answered.

But he felt if they ever did so it would be at the cost of Basic Instinct.

“It would have destroyed it,” he said. “I think we were working in an interesting field that was created by the movie and that took us completely by surprise, perhaps, but at least worked. A lot of things that were in me and in her corresponded there and made this possible. And love-hate was part of that – or the essence of that. But ultimately it was not something that was consumed by us. It was really consumed by the camera and the screen.”

Sharon Stone felt that Paul Verhoeven brought out the darkness in her

Under Verhoeven’s direction, the Catwoman star felt she tapped into a side of herself that was necessary to the film. Likewise, Verhoeven encouraged Stone to get in touch with the darker side of herself for her character’s sake.

“Playing Catherine Trammell, you’re in a very peculiar and weird headspace, and it’s not an affable place, because you bring out the darkness in everybody, and then you don’t have any compassion for them. Paul totally understood that, because he pushed me to be that,” Stone once said in a 2006 interview with MovieWeb.

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