Sharon Stone has made a career out of realizing her power and owning her sexuality ever since her famous leg-cross scene in Basic Instinct catapulted her to stardom in 1992. A near-fatal stroke in 2001 almost derailed her career, but Stone is not easily deterred.
In addition to starring in What About Love, out on Feb. 14 just in time for all of our Valentine’s Day plans, and the new Ryan Murphy series, Ratched, scheduled to release this fall, she’s continuing to dedicate herself to worthy causes. Most recently, she’s shown her support for the Elton John AIDS Foundation and announced that she will be hosting the Laureus World Sports Awards in Berlin honoring athletes and promoting equality. “It’s important to take this thing called fame and use it for things that have value. For me, that has been working on social change,” she tells InStyle. “I have enjoyed working to build refugee camps and schools and taking my initiatives to the United Nations.”
Finding Her Voice: “My father really raised me specifically to speak up and told me that if I was honest, I wouldn't be in trouble,” says Stone. “Now those really weren't the rules out in the big world.” The actress, producer, writer, and activist, is no stranger to controversy — that famous Basic Instinct scene remains shrouded in it. But she’s found a way to stand tall through anything and everything else thrown her way. “Sometimes when you're honest, you end up in trouble anyway,” she says. “But you have to really navigate the trouble that you're in and be prepared to accept the consequences. I think that being honest and being a woman often has consequences, but I think that we still have to stand up and speak truth to power.” Stone’s philosophy is emboldened by her ever-present no bullsh*t attitude. “I'm guided by my own spirituality and by my own sense of destiny — not by the opinions of others.”
Beyond the Basics: Above all, Stone says being a single mom to sons Roan, Quinn, and Laird, all adopted in the early 2000s, has been the most rewarding role she’s ever played. “I'm most proud of being a mom,” she says. “The most badass thing I've ever done is pick myself up and move forward and continue with my goal as a parent to raise my children well.” Stone is also thoroughly proud of standing up for herself and distancing herself from her iconic ’90s characters. “[It was badass] to not accept false stories about myself simply because I did Basic Instinct,” she says. “[I allowed] myself to move forward with my own character and intellect. [I did not] allow people to try to dissuade me from my journey, my integrity, my dignity, or my decency because I was good in a film that some people wanted to [call] controversial and label me personally with the aspects of that character.”
Going forward, Stone says she is trying her best to raise her sons to stand up for the women in their lives. She says, “I do tell them about the things that I've been through or the things that have hurt me so that they understand the way that the world can aggress women, so that they can be the knights among men.”
Getting It Right: Though Stone is admirably strong in her convictions, she also acknowledges that calling out wrongdoing is not enough. Helping people learn from their mistakes is the way toward a better future for everyone. “We have to remember to try to guide people in our desires for them, not just to explain to people what they're doing wrong,” she says. “[We have to] try to explain to people what we want them to do right.”
Best Advice: Stone’s best advice is to get out and work for what you want, while never being afraid to call for help. “Don't let the randomness of life leave you barren of anything you might not have been given. Go get it,” she says. “If there's something you want to find out, go find it. Get people to be your guides, your teachers, your parents, your friends. Get next to them and let them guide you.”
Stone says she’s become accustom to calling the best of the best in areas she wants to learn more about to ask for advice herself. So far, it’s working out pretty well for her. “I call people. I've called legendary actresses and asked them to coach me on a part and sat by their bedsides and talked to them. I've called political leaders all over the world, sat, and talked to them about global issues. I call people at the United Nations and ask them for their help when I'm trying to create an initiative. Whatever it is, I try to call the best person and ask them to give me a person to show me how to do it,” she says. “I have no compunction about asking someone who's really good at something to teach me, show me, help me, guide me, sit with me. I'm not afraid to ask anybody to help me learn anything.”