“You Can’t Shame Me”: Sharon Stone on How Basic Instinct Nearly Broke Her, Before Making Her a Star

I will pay for all of your life lessons, just not acting. This man, who I know, is amazing if your life doesn’t completely change because of him. You really need a great acting teacher. He said to always come second, but to keep going and get close on every project. We used to tease him about how cheap he was. He was really cheap, but we all thought this fellow, who we knew, was a really interesting guy – smart and funny. And then, almost getting cast a lot. I was still striking out a lot when I first came to Hollywood.

I mentioned that I would visit his acquaintance, so naturally, considering this friend’s frugality, we all found it amusing, indeed.

And that individual transformed my life.

I am grateful that Roy was a part of my life, and there are only a few people like him. Years ago, in a class, I was struck by his deep understanding of something and how he could wait for someone in a driveway. It still amazes me how I can continue to learn from him, even though he passed away more than 25 years ago. In the truest sense of the word, he was a special and amazing teacher. That goes on the list of lovely and amazing people, like Garry Shandling, Geena Davis, Forest Whitaker Jr., Robert Downey, and Brad Pitt. Roy, the guy from London, ended up teaching a lot of us.

The lesson that remains in my memory the most was from the previous class I attended.

Roy had phoned me and stated, “You have completed your studies–there is no need for you to return.”

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I became anxious. “But I’m not finished–I haven’t acquired it yet.”.

He stated, “You have portrayed every female role. There is no further action required.”

So I stated, “Then I must return and perform the roles designated for males.”

He reluctantly gave his consent.

It was almost impossible for me. I didn’t work on it for a week and went home. After the first performance, his notes to me were filled with a strong determination, so I returned. He assigned me David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross. It was evident that I was meant to stay. Although he was still uncertain, I tried to persuade him that I hadn’t gone crazy. For two women, he initially had me perform an Oscar Wilde piece. We began and I returned.

I followed instructions. Even though I shed many tears during that week.

“Well, what knowledge have we acquired?” Exclaimed Roy, as he gradually shifted his gaze towards the entire class, and subsequently towards me. The expression on his face during that moment remains etched in my memory. Roy was absolutely flabbergasted. I had discovered my rightful spot. I tore it apart. I returned and, with remarkable nonchalance, performed the scene.

And I declared, “That I am sufficient.”

He stated, “You have completed your studies, class dismissed.”

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