Sharon Stone shines again in new TV series after stroke struggle
After years of recovering from a brain aneurysm, Sharon Stone reflects on life's paths and lessons
It is hard to believe that Sharon Stone, best known for her femme fatale role in the 1992 erotic thriller Basic Instinct, is going to be 60 in March.
After appearing in a string of little-seen indies, she is back in the spotlight with new interactive six-part TV series Mosaic, a murder mystery conceived and directed by US film-maker Steven Soderbergh.
It premieres on HBO (StarHub TV Ch 601) tomorrow at 9am, with a repeat telecast at 8pm.
But more on that later. Stone's own story is more fascinating.
At our interview at the Four Seasons hotel in Beverly Hills last month, the glowing US actress reflected on her life's path and lessons learnt, saying: "I didn't know people are who they are.
"I didn't know that no matter how good of a partner you are, it doesn't mean you are going to have a good marriage or a good life.
"I didn't know I was going to have a stroke and a nine-day brain haemorrhage that changed my life forever.
"I didn't know I would be really, really grateful that I would get to be 60."
In 2001, Stone was felled by a brain aneurysm.
She recalled: "I had a 5 per cent chance of living at all, let alone regaining all my faculties.
"I could barely walk. I couldn't see out of my left eye, and I couldn't hear out of my left ear, because when my vertebral artery ruptured, the doctors missed it."
After many years of rehab and struggle, she said she has now recovered.
Said Stone: "I am just so blessed. I couldn't write my name for almost three years. I just couldn't get my arm to listen to my mind.
"So I had to learn to read and write and speak. I had a stutter and no one knew why. I take medication each night that stops that.
"And I never wanted to tell anybody this because I thought I would never work again if people knew...
"It took about seven years for it all to get kind of straightened out, and so it is a big victory for me."
She is a single mum of three adopted boys aged 11, 12 and 17, with her two younger ones being birth siblings who share the same parents.
She said: "I told them that a few years ago, which was really a big moment in our family.
"My older son, who used to live with his dad, lives with us now and is going to school and doing beautifully, and all of this stuff makes me feel like it is the right time to work again.
"I have a lot of gratitude."
There is also no worry about having another stroke.
MAD ABOUT HORSES
Said Stone: "I have extremely natural low blood pressure and low cholesterol. I am not at all concerned about it. I take care of myself.
"I don't do too many kooky activities. I still ride horses because I need to have one thing that is not taken away, one thing that I really love.
"And we are going to go away to the snow for Christmas, and I am going to play ice polo, which I think is probably a little extreme, but you know what, f*** it. I am going to wear a helmet," she said with a laugh.
In addition to Mosaic, there is a Martin Scorsese film ("It is a secret and I can't say what it is yet"), a miniseries with Italian director Paolo Sorrentino and a comedy with Bette Midler.
Stone is interested in the current opioid crisis gripping the US and also signed on to do a film with a Scandinavian director in which she is "going to play a drug kingpin, a serious and dangerous heroin dealer".
Set against the backdrop of a mountain resort town, Mosaic follows popular children's book author and illustrator Olivia Lake (Stone), whose literary success makes her a local celebrity in the tight-knit community. When she disappears on New Year's Day, leaving behind a blood-soaked studio, the show becomes an intricate whodunit.
Other cast members include Garrett Hedlund, Beau Bridges, Paul Reubens and Frederick Weller.
The whole cast of Mosaic lived in a residence hotel together.
"We didn't get the whole script, but we got our pieces," she said.
Of the shooting experience, Stone recalled: "They said, 'You don't get a trailer, you don't get a chair, you get a honey wagon (a basic production vehicle usually used by crew and extras), but you will never be in it'.
"I said, 'Fine, but I need a chair.' I have been in this business a long time, I am going to need a chair. And they are like, 'No, you don't get a chair.'
"About three weeks in, the whole crew said to me, 'Sharon, we have a present for you.' And they showed me my chair. And it was funny for all of us, because I never had time to sit because we worked non-stop."
And by that she means shooting 30 pages a day.
On a big-budget movie, one to two pages is normal, while TV shows generally do seven to 10.
"We didn't work beyond our normal day's length, but we worked every single second. You just never, ever stop working."