What Sharon Stone does best is shattering common clichés. That’s how she describes herself, and she cited the evidence in an hour-long conversation during her participation in a film festival in Saudi Arabia.
Yes, the Primal Instinct star was among the guests at the second edition of the Red Sea Festival in the Saudi city of Jeddah, along with Guy Ritchie, Spike Lee, Priyanka Chopra, Jackie Chan and more. In a very emotional discussion with guests and the audience, she spoke about gender equality, the fight against AIDS, her personal battles and fame.
Stone admitted that many people have asked her if she’s worried about going to Saudi Arabia – a country that has faced a lot of criticism for its human rights record and has only allowed cinema screenings for a few years – after a 35-year ban.
“I’m breaking the generally accepted envelope, which is what my coming here is, and I’m successful in that,” announced the actress.
“I’m afraid I don’t know. So why don’t I go and see what it’s really like? What I do know is that things aren’t always what everyone says they are,” she told her concerned friends, Hollywood quoted Stone as saying. Reporter.
Stone also recalled where she came from – she grew up in Pennsylvania, in a community where there were ultra-conservative Amish people who still got around in horse-drawn wagons. When she was a girl, the possibility of getting shackled from such a place in Saudi Arabia seemed nil.
And perhaps to prove that she has nothing to worry about in a country that has long been criticized for women’s rights, the actress announced: “Women are not in this world just to serve men. Men are also here to serve women. And if we don’t do it equally, then we show disrespect to the Creator”.
Sharon Stone also spoke about the cruel price she paid for fame after her participation in the erotic thriller “Primal Instinct”.
“They thought I was like my character, that I was vulgar, killed people and showed my vagina in the store,” she shared how traumatizing it was for her to have people judge her based on her portrayal in the film.
Because of the “Catherine Tremmel” print, Stone believes she has lost custody of one of her sons. She has three children, adopted after it turns out she can’t have biological ones. Upon her divorce from ex-husband Phil Bronstein, custody of the eldest, Roan, was awarded by the court to the father. The judge ruled that Bronstein could provide a “more stable” environment for the boy to be raised.
“I lost custody of my child because the judge decided I was making sex movies. Fame destroyed my privacy, my privacy, and the way people perceived me as a human being,” Stone said during the conversation, which she often recalls had to use handkerchiefs for tears.
She was asked to comment on how the concept of famous people has changed since her breakthrough with “Primal Instinct” in 1992. According to Sharon, in the last 10 years, thanks to mobile phones, the mystery surrounding celebrities is gone.
“I love movie stars. For me, the star halo is a very big thing, but today there are no movie stars,” said the actress, quoted by Variety.
“I like to maintain that mystery because I really enjoy being a movie star — I believe it’s special and inspiring,” Stone added. She gave an example of her childhood, when movie stars were especially important to her and she wanted to be one – “I wanted to be a great actress, but also a star”.
However, this was almost taken away from her when, in the mid-1990s, she became the face of amfAR – the Foundation for AIDS Research. “It ruined my career. I didn’t work for 8 years, not a single job. They called me into offices and told me that if I said the word ‘condom’ all the funding would disappear,” she said.
She first became the face of the foundation in 1995, when they asked her to be part of a fundraising campaign.
Sharon is warned by relatives that this will ruin her career – times are different and in the 90s AIDS was not talked about like it is today.
“I had no idea what kind of resistance, hatred, cruelty and oppression I would encounter. So I put on a protective suit and asked to be shown the virus under a microscope – I had to see what this thing is that makes people freak out like this,” the activist recalls.
Stone even received threats, including for her life. “And the more it happened, the more I said to myself, I have to keep at it – if it causes such a reaction, then it’s really important,” added the actress.
Sharon stayed with the cause for 25 years, during which drugs were discovered for the virus, and today AIDS is closer to a chronic disease with which one can live for decades than a death sentence.
That’s why he doesn’t regret this decision, and probably no other.