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Sharon Stone isn’t afraid to tell it like it is. The actor has been known to defend her beliefs even when in the face of intense scrutiny. But the Catwoman star’s strength was tested when she vouched for both Russell Crowe and Leonardo DiCaprio to work alongside her for a movie.

After some pushback, Stone got what she wanted. But unfortunately, Stone faced serious consequences for helping out two of Hollywood’s future megastars.

Why Russell Crowe credited Sharon Stone for his career

Sharon Stone smiling while wearing sunglasses.
Sharon Stone | Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

In an interview on Late Night with Seth Meyers, Crowe shared his humble beginnings as an actor. As with most aspiring Hollywood stars, his rise to fame didn’t happen overnight. The Gladiator actor went through the process of trying to find work, but got nothing for his efforts other than polite rejections.

“I used to say my theory of Los Angeles was you have to be careful because they will nice you to death,” Crowe told Meyers (via People.) “They will nice you so much that you think everything’s going to go well for you, and then you realize X amount of time later that you got nothing out of all that niceness.”

But Crowe persevered, and eventually caught the eye of Sharon Stone. Stone would later recommend Crowe for the Sam Raimi western The Quick and the Dead.

“It took me probably about 18 months or more and literally hundreds and hundreds of meetings before I actually got an American gig,” he added. “I only got it because Sharon Stone had seen a movie I was in.”

Sharon Stone was banned from the studio after wanting to work with Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe

Sharon Stone faced a lot of backlash for her choices in Sam Raimi’s The Quick and the Dead. Crowe further elaborated the kind of uphill battles Stone faced while trying to get him on board.

“She was kind of in a sword fight with the male producers on the film and she just put her foot down and said, ‘I’m going to hire the person I want to hire as the love interest,'” he revealed.

Likewise, it wasn’t only her wanting to recruit Russell Crowe that caused tension. Stone also wanted to recruit Leonardo DiCaprio for the film. But she revealed that if DiCaprio were to join the project, it would cost her money out of her own pocket. The ensuing conflict between Stone and the studio would allegedly result in the studio taking serious action against Stone.

“I had so much resistance on that movie,” Stone said at Zurich Film Festival according to Variety. “I wanted Leo DiCaprio: ‘Pay him out of your own money.’ I wanted Russell Crowe: ‘Why do you want this guy who has only played a skinhead before?’ I wanted Sam Raimi to direct: ‘Sharon, why do you always shoot yourself in the foot?’ They banned me from the studio for eight years after that.”

But to Crowe, Stone batting for him despite the potential ramifications was a true testament to her strength.

“If it wasn’t for her strength of commitment, I don’t know how long it might have been before I got an American movie. I’ve got a lot to thank her for,” he confided.

Sharon Stone once couldn’t find work for 20 years after reaching a certain age


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Sharon Stone stood in solidarity with women in the industry who were now able to continue working in Hollywood. She noted how, after reaching a certain age herself, some of the acting opportunities stopped dried up for the icon.

“I am grateful that women get to work now, but I didn’t – not for 20 years. I looked at that video yesterday. There was all this work, then no work, then ‘Ratched.’ Because when I turned 40, that was it. No more work for Sharon,” Stone said.

But her moratorium from acting allowed Stone to pursue more efforts pertaining to the world and her own family. Despite the economic downsides, this allowed Stone to feel the kind of success she was proud of experiencing.

“Karmically, it worked out great. Financially, not so much. I feel that my biggest accomplishment is surviving. It’s a big deal surviving in a business like this,” she said.