Sharon Stone on why she kept THAT Basic Instinct white dress

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Actor Sharon Stone has revealed the story behind the famous white dress she wore in the 1992 smash hit, Basic Instinct.

The film, a thriller directed by Paul Verhoeven, spawned a million memes and starred Michael Douglas as the troubled cop and Stone as suspected killer Catherine Trammell.

Its most memorable scene featured an interrogation, in which Stone's character wore an elegant white turtle-neck minidress, and derailed the interrogation by crossing her legs, revealing that she was wearing nothing beneath.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, USA - DECEMBER 16: American actress Sharon Stone wearing Dolce & Gabbana arrives at the Los Angeles Premiere Of Apple Original Films' and A24's 'The Tragedy Of Macbeth' held at the Directors Guild of America Theater Complex on December 16, 2021 in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Xavier Collin/Image Press Agency/Sipa USA)
Sharon Stone has spoken up about what really happened. (PA) (SIPA USA/PA Images)

Now, Stone has revealed in a piece for InStyle Magazine, that she chose the dress herself, writing, “the costume designer, Ellen Mirojnick, took me to Rodeo Drive and said, ‘You can pick out any one thing that you want for your character.'”

The pair went to Hermès and bought a cream cashmere throw which she wore in one scene, but when it came to the interrogation scene, she asked Verhoeven for his thoughts.

“He jokingly said, ‘I don’t care if you wear a turtleneck and your hair in a bun.’ So I said, ‘Good, because that’s what I was thinking.'

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“We decided to go for all white because my character had a very Hitchcockian vibe. But Ellen designed the dress so that I could sit like a man if he was being interrogated,” Stone added.

“It gave me the ability to move my arms and legs, take up space, and exercise control over a room full of men.”

But while Stone was instrumental in designing the dress with Mirojnick, she admits she was surprised that the scene had the impact it did.

“The movie was a thriller and we were stopping the action to watch me sit still in a chair, so I thought the possibility of anybody giving two s***s about it was zero,” she said.

The 'erotic thriller' was written by blockbuster titan Joe Eszterhas, and Stone later revealed she assumed the character's lack of underwear would only be referred to in speech.

Sharon Stone attends The Eyes of Tammy Faye New York Premiere, held at the SVA Theatre in New York City, NY on Tuesday, September 14, 2021. (Photo by Jennifer Graylock/Sipa USA)
Sharon Stone attends The Eyes of Tammy Faye premiere in 2021. (PA) (SIPA USA/PA Images)

In her 2021 memoir, she recalled, “After we shot Basic Instinct, I got called in to see it. Not on my own with the director, as one would anticipate, given the situation that has given us all pause, so to speak, but with a room full of agents and lawyers, most of whom had nothing to do with the project.

“That was how I saw my vagina-shot for the first time, long after I’d been told, ‘We can’t see anything — I just need you to remove your panties, as the white is reflecting the light, so we know you have panties on.’”

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She accused Verhoeven of failing to tell her that her genitals would be in shot. "(As the) one with the vagina... the other points of view are bulls***.”

Verhoeven then accused the actress of 'lying' about the controversial scene.

“Sharon is lying,” Verhoeven, 82, said in 2017. He added ""My memory is radically different from Sharon’s memory... her version is impossible.

"Any actress knows what she’s going to see if you ask her to take off her underwear and point there with the camera.”

L'actrice Sharon Stone et le réalisateur Paul Verhoeven en mai 1992 à Cannes, France. (Photo by Pool ARNAL/GARCIA/PICOT/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Sharon Stone with the director in Cannes, 1992. (Getty Images) (Pool ARNAL/GARCIA/PICOT via Getty Images)

However, Stone insists that it was only when she saw the screening with a test audience that she realised what had been filmed. She slapped the director in the face and walked out.

In her memoir, she concluded, "(My lawyer) Marty said... it wasn’t legal to shoot up my dress in this fashion. Whew, I thought.

"Well, that was my first thought. Then I thought some more. What if I were the director? What if I had gotten that shot? What if I had gotten it on purpose? Or by accident? What if it just existed?

"That was a lot to think about. I knew what film I was doing. For heaven’s sake, I fought for that part, and all that time, only this director had stood up for me. I had to find some way to become objective."

Sharon Stone arrives for the Pride of Britain Awards held at the The Grosvenor House Hotel, London. Picture date: Saturday October 30, 2021.
Stone says she 'made peace' with the controversial scene. (PA) (PA)

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Stone later famously commented on misogyny in Hollywood, saying, "If you have a vagina and an attitude in this town, then that's a lethal combination."

Despite her anger, she kept the dress - and it's remained untouched for the past thirty years.

“It was zipped up in a garment bag on the set, and it has never been opened since. I broke the zipper, so it’s hermetically sealed like a piece of art or a very cool time capsule,” Stone explained.

tSone now says, however, that she has made peace with what happened, and is glad she kept the clothes.

“I put in my contract that I could keep the clothes,” she revealed. “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.”