‘Basic Instinct’ Star Jeanne Tripplehorn Found Aggressive Love Scenes With Michael Douglas Embarrassing

Although actor Sharon Stone got her breakthrough role with Basic Instinct, the film also marked the film debut of co-star Jeanne Tripplehorn.

Tripplehorn was tapped to play Douglas’ love-interest in the hit film. But she once admitted to finding her love scenes with Douglas to be a bit humiliating. So much so it would affect the future roles she’d take in her career.

Jeanne Tripplehorn didn’t work for a year after her role in ‘Basic Instinct’

Michael Douglas posing with Sharon Stone and Jeanne Tripplehorn.
Michael Douglas, Sharon Stone and Jeanne Tripplehorn | FocKan/WireImage

Tripplehorn had mostly performed in plays before her first film role in Paul Verhoeven’s Basic Instinct. In the 1992 movie she played psychologist Beth Garner, who was in an intimate relationship with Michael Douglas’ character.

Although the film brought Tripplehorn a lot of attention from studios, it wasn’t the kind of attention she wanted. Many studios wanted Tripplehorn to portray characters similar to her Basic Instinct role, which she wasn’t interested in.

“With no prior knowledge of who or what I am, everyone just assumes I’m like Beth,” Tripplehorn once said according to The Morning Call. “I didn’t work for about a year, waiting for something to come along that was different.”

She would later find what she was looking for, starring in films like The Night We Never Met and The Firm. The latter, which she co-starred alongside Tom Cruise in, was a nice departure from her character in Instinct. This was in large part due to the film’s director, Sydney Pollack, willing to mold the role to Tripplehorn’s liking.

“She was the sexy wife, kinda snappy, kinda different from the Memphis wives,” Tripplehorn said. “Sydney told me at our first meeting that he was going to make a lot of changes in the script, but that line is right up there with, ‘Your check is in the mail.’ But I’ll be damned if in four months he hadn’t made Abby much more a part of the story and much more self-sufficient than the usual Hollywood portrayal of The Wife.”

Jeanne Tripplehorn was embarrassed by her love scenes with Michael Douglas

Tripplehorn’s intense sex scenes with Ant-Man star Douglas wasn’t ideal for the star because of their aggressive nature.

“I was embarrassed,” she once said according to the Sun-Sentinel. “My first days on the set I was rehearsing a scene with Michael where he rips off my blouse and throws me over a chair. I prefer a look or a smile, which can be just as sexy as ripping off someone’s clothing.”

Tripplehorn was originally under the impression that her love scene with Douglas was going to be different than it was in the film. According to Tripplehorn, she was told the visceral take would be a bit lighter. But things changed when she arrived on set.

“Once I was on the set, I could see Paul’s new storyboards and realized what was happening,” she once told Entertainment Weekly. “Before we filmed the thing, I was so nervous I was laughing uncontrollably. But I just followed the script and it was fine — well, except for the bump on my head I got from slamming it against the wall so many times.”

Jeanne Tripplehorn couldn’t watch ‘Basic Instinct’

Although it catapulted her career at the time, the former Criminal Minds actor once shared she couldn’t bring herself to watch the film. Partially due to the sex scenes, but also because she wasn’t fond of the movie’s really cheesy lines.

She also decided that she didn’t want to repeat her sex scenes in Basic Instinct in other films.

“I’m turning away from overt sex scenes. That was like a different time in film. It’s time for something sweeter and more romantic,” she said.

RELATED: ‘Basic Instinct’: Michael Douglas Almost ‘Destroyed’ the Film by Changing the Ending