There was a very real possibility that Sharon Stone would not be here today, posing fully nude at 57 in the pages of Harper's Bazaar. In the interview that accompanies the striking photos, Stone talks openly about the 2001 brain hemorrage and stroke that nearly cut her life short.
"When I came to, the doctor was leaning over me. I said, 'Am I dying?' And he said, 'You're bleeding into your brain,'" Stone recalls. "I said, 'I should call my mom,' and he said, 'You're right. You could lose the ability to speak soon.'"
Surgeons were able to repair the ruptured artery in her brain with 22 platinum coils. However, it had devastating effects. When Stone left the hospital, she had a stutter, no feeling in her left leg, and she could no longer read. But, she says, she's determined to get back to where she once was, one of the biggest movie stars in the world, Oscar nominated for her performance in 1995's Casino.
"I thought, You know what? I got thrown off the bullet train, and now I'm going to have to crawl up a hill of broken glass, get back on the train that's going a million miles an hour, and work my way from the cattle car up," she says. "That's just the way it is, so I'd better get humble and shut the f--k up and do the job. Because if I can't do this job, I'm certainly not going to be able to do anything else."
This fall, Stone is starring as the U.S Vice President in TNT's Agent X. She plays Natalie Maccabee, who only realizes after she's taken office that she's in charge of a covert agent (Interstellar's Jeff Hephner).
This is certainly not the first time anyone has seen Stone in the nude; she posed for Playboy in 1990 and has perhaps one of the most famous nude scenes in film history in 1992's Basic Instinct. But Stone says she's completely at ease with the way she looks now.
"I'm aware that my ass looks like a bag of flapjacks," she told Harper's on the day of the shoot. "But I'm not trying to be the best-looking broad in the world. At a certain point you start asking yourself, 'What really is sexy?' It's not just the elevation of your boobs. It's being present and having fun and liking yourself enough to like the person that's with you. If I believed that sexy was trying to be who I was when I did Basic Instinct, then we'd all be having a hard day today."
Anyway, if anyone likes what they see, Stone, who's very single, provides explicit instructions in the final moments of her Harper's profile:
As we wrap up the interview and she prepares to slip out of her bathrobe, Stone smiles slyly, picks up my tape recorder, and holds it to her mouth, enunciating slowly into the microphone. "If there's anybody out there who's an adult and who would like to ask me out," she says, "please call Harper's Bazaar."
There you have it.