In her memoir The Beauty of Living Twice, Stone covers her iconic scene in 1992's Basic Instinct, in which her vagina was exposed when her character, Catherine Tramell, was interrogated by police.
While the scene has gone down in film notoriety, the back story is actually awful. In a book excerpt for Vanity Fair, Stone says not only was she shown the final footage in a "room full of agents and lawyers" when she expected to just be seeing it alongside the director, but that she was unaware of the level of nudity.
"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.” Yes, there have been many points of view on this topic, but since I’m the one with the vagina in question, let me say: The other points of view are bullshit."
While she acknowledges that she did have the power to veto the scene, and chose not to, the events leading up to this decision paint a portrait of the power imbalance for female actors and a very male industry.
"After the screening, I let Paul know of the options Marty had laid out for me. Of course, he vehemently denied that I had any choices at all. I was just an actress, just a woman; what choices could I have?"
Stone also recalls other toxic scenarios in which producers would ask her to have sex with male co-stars for better chemistry.
"I’ve had other producers on other films just come to my trailer and ask, 'So, are you going to fuck him, or aren’t you? … You know it would go better if you did.' I take my time and explain that I am like the nice girl they grew up with, and get them to recall that girl’s name. This leaves us all with a little bit of our dignity."
Stone's memoir, The Beauty of Living Twice is out on March 30 and is available to preorder now on Amazon.