Friday, July 16, 2004
CATWOMAN'S SHARON STONE
LOS ANGELES -- Today The Continuum continues a series of interviews from the Catwoman movie press junket, with Sharon Stone, who plays Laurel Hedare, the film's villain.
Following is an edited transcript of the interview.
Question: Were you rubbing your hands with glee when you got the script?
Stone:I just didn't know when I got the script. I thought, "Well, I don't know. Do I want to do this?" I mean, I had been out of the business for a while, and I didn't even know if I still wanted to be an actress. I didn't know what I wanted to do.
So then I got the part and I thought, "OK..." I like to play the villain. It's intriguing and there's more you can do. It's more interesting. There's no boundaries.
I had this idea that when I came back to work that I should play like the Gene Hackman parts, those kind of power parts: the lawyer, the corporate executive, the kind of people that just climb up people's bums. That's what I was ready to do. It wasn't exactly just the villain, but those really aggressive characters.
So, I saw this part and I thought that this was sort of like what I had in mind. But I was glad that a woman, this Oscar-winning, powerful actress, wanted me to work opposite her. I thought that was really the thing. That I could work opposite a woman, which I'm not used to doing and that that would be interesting to me.
Question: What impressed you about Halle Berry when you got to know her?
Stone: Well, I have gotten to know her a little bit over the years. When she first started, I thought she was cool. They had asked me to play this part in the Flintstones movie, Sharon Stonerock, but I had to go and do another movie. But I said, "There's this woman who's new, this Halle Berry gal, and she would be good for that. If someone's going to play me, essentially, how about her? She's so cool and beautiful and had something in there."
And I always thought she was going to be star. I always had my eye on her.
Question: How much did you prepare for the catfight?
Stone: We prepared a lot. We had stunt training. We trained incrementally for the different pieces.
And I had a fantastic stunt double. For many years I had a girl, Donna Evans, who worked with me through the Basic Instincts and the Total Recalls and all those things who is now on to other things. And since I've been gone and I've come back, I thought, "I've got to get a girl who's going to work with me through this stuff." Because, clearly, I like to do action and I like to do physical stuff.
This girl had doubled Uma (Thurman) in Kill Bill and I was superbly impressed with her. I really need to work with people who were are warm, fun, but also have that thing where you sort of flow into each other. The get the things, like I have one foot that turns out and one that turns in. She leads with her left, I lead with my right, so I had to work with her thing. We also worked our faces. Her face is flatten than mine, so I would work to sort of flatten out my face and she worked to change her lower body. We could really seamlessly (do the scene), so you wouldn't know there was a stunt double. We worked very hard to make that scene flawless. We wanted so much to make that scene great.
Question: What was your first reaction when you saw Halle in that outfit?
Stone: I thought that she was extraordinarily beautiful here (around eyes) and she realy looked like Dorothy Lamore. She sort of had that 40's form. And to me, it was very intriguing how much it changed her bone structure and that that was terrific. Because she did look like two different people then. She had a very classic line, and that was really cool.
And the way Pitof was constantly setting the frame so there was this triple depth. It would be Halle, this black leather suit and a great painting. He was setting this frame in this terrific triple surrealism. He would be taking her from being the woman, Patience, who was very sort of too ordinary, to this surreeal triplicate.
I kept going and looking through the lens. Because I wanted to see what he was creating with the image, because I knew he had this great visual sense of what he was doing symbolically with her. He was having her move in this way that was a little bit disturbing. And I thought, "Why is he making her move like that?" I couldn't tell in the room, so I would keep going and watching through the lens to see what is he creating. Because I had scene Vidocq and I knew that Vidocq had that look through a cat's eye. So I wanted to go see what's he doing, what's he up to.
Question: Aside from being a popcorn movie, this movie had a message about age and beauty. How do you feel about the statement it makes?
Stone: Well, I liked it. I thought it was powerful. And I thought it was valid. It was the thing about the movie that really hooked me.
And that's why even when we were doing the thing in the movie with the cream, I intentionally put it on so it looked like a neck brace. I wanted it to look like it was a medical deformity, like weird, like a David Lynch thing. So I keep putting it on to look like a fake leg. I had my own twisted things going on.
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