Everett Collection Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct
Sharon Stone is recalling how the white dress she wore during her interrogation room scene in 1992's Basic Instinct became "a pretty big deal."
"From the moment I read the script, I knew I was the right person for the role," says Stone, who was 32 years old when she got the part of Catherine Tramell and began collaborating on the character's style with costume designer Ellen Mirojnick.
"Ellen ... took me to Rodeo Drive and said, 'You can pick out any one thing that you want for your character,'" Stone explained.
"We decided to go for all white because my character had a very Hitchcockian vibe," she added. "But Ellen designed the dress so that I could sit like a man if he was being interrogated. It gave me the ability to move my arms and legs, take up space, and exercise control over a room full of men."
In the interrogation room, Stone's character famously uncrosses her legs and flashes the detectives.
"The director asked me to remove my underwear because he said the white was reflecting the light. So I did. And the cinematographer told me that they couldn't see anything," Stone recalled.
StudioCanal/Shutterstock Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct (1992)
She added, "Of course, when I saw the completed movie for the first time with a bunch of other people, you could see right up my skirt."
The Golden Globe winner negotiated to keep her clothing from the film due to the pay gap between her and costar Michael Douglas.
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"I couldn't believe how exciting it was and all of the incredible costumes that were being made just for me. I put in my contract that I could keep the clothes," Stone said.
She continued, "People thought I was crazy, but the truth is I wasn't getting paid much compared to my male co-star. I made $500,000; Michael made $14 million. So keeping my costumes was a really smart thing to do."
Stone explained that she kept the white dress as a memento of the lessons she learned while making the film.
"I've kept the white dress and coat. It was zipped up in a garment bag on the set, and it has never been opened since," she shared. "I broke the zipper, so it's hermetically sealed like a piece of art or a very cool time capsule."
"When I look at it now, I can't help but think about how much I learned in the process of making the film. I learned how frightening it can be not just for men but for society as a whole to see a woman access and own her power," she added. "I learned how to have a spine. I learned how to speak up for myself. And yes, I learned that I look pretty damn good in white."