Sharon Stone, 65, Was Told She Was ‘Too Old’ to Work at 40: ‘I Looked Amazing’

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Sharon Stone Reflects on Ageism in HollywoodAxelle/Bauer-Griffin - Getty Images
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  • Sharon Stone opened up about ageism in Hollywood in a new interview.

  • She reflected on how ageism, along with a health scare in her 40s, completely derailed her acting career.

  • Now, at 65, she’s open to a world of creative endeavors.

Sharon Stone’s entire life flipped upside-down when she was 43 years old. It was the early 2000s, and she had already passed the time’s Hollywood “sell-by date” of age 40, her Basic Instinct-launched superstardom slowly dwindling. Then, she had a life-threatening stroke and brain bleed, which she kept secret for years while recovering, in hopes of eventually getting her career back on track. Now, at 65, she’s reflecting on ageism in acting and contemplating her future.

In an interview with Giselle Fernandez for Spectrum News 1 SoCal, Stone recalled being told she was “too old” for many roles. “I can name the actors,” she quipped. But now, she looks back at photos of herself at 40 with a deep fondness.

“[At 40,] you’re old enough to know what you want and young enough to go get it. And you look amazing!” she said of the age.“I looked amazing! I looked like some Scandinavian princess! I look at pictures of myself and think, ‘That was old?’ Oh my god.’”

After her stroke, Stone disappeared from the movie scene and, amidst recovery, also dealt with personal turmoil in her marriage and family, which she details in her memoir, The Beauty of Living Twice.

She has since booked semi-consistent smaller roles in TV, and during pandemic lockdowns, she channeled her creativity in a new way: by recommitting to her childhood love of painting. Her time with brush and canvas quickly blossomed, and she recently celebrated her first solo art showing at Allouche Gallery in LA.

While surrounded by her vast paintings, Fernandez asked Stone if she thinks she’ll join the likes of Jennifer Coolidge and Angela Bassett with a late-in-life Hollywood revival. And Stone’s answer was very clear.

“I don’t,” she said. “I don’t feel it really happening that much for me, and I don’t really care.”

If Stone’s breakout roles are really behind her, she knows there are still other opportunities to pursue. “I’m a seriously self-motivated person, clearly. I’m gonna get up and create whether Hollywood gives me a job or not,” she said. “I’m gonna get up and work. If it’s not for Hollywood, it’s gonna be for somebody else.”

Whether it’s painting, acting, or another creative endeavor, Stone plans to keep going at 65 and beyond. “The greatest gift we have is to give the greatest things we have,” she told Fernandez. “Until the very last breath.”

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