Sharon Stone is recreating her iconic pose — with a powerful message on sexual empowerment.
The 61-year-old actress accepted GQ’s Woman of the Year award on Thursday night where she had Billy Porter bring out a chair on stage for her so she could recreate her famous leg-crossing scene from Basic Instinct.
“Some years ago, I was sitting on a soundstage and my director said, ‘Can you hand me your underpants? Because we’re seeing them in the scene, and you shouldn’t have underpants on. But we won’t see anything,'” Stone recalled. “And I said, ‘Sure.’ I didn’t know that this moment would change my life.”
Stone then encouraged the crowd to imitate the pose alongside her, asking them, “Do you feel empowered?”
“Each and every one of you is going to have a moment like mine. A moment that changes your life. One you might be aware of when it’s happening, and one you might not,” she said. “You’re going to have one if you haven’t already. And you’re going to be held accountable for it if you haven’t already. People are going to ask you a lot of difficult questions if they haven’t already.”
Stone continued, “So the time to decide who you are is now. The time to decide what you do with the tender, important, beautiful, savage, passionate, most important part of yourself. What are you gonna do with it? I’ll tell you what I did with mine. I respected it. And I would suggest that you all do the same. Because we have every right to be powerful in whatever form of sexuality we choose to have. And no one is allowed to take that away from you.”
“I stand here as Woman of the Year, not as an individual, but to be with women and of women and to be here in my grace and in my tenderness and in my dignity and I want to tell you it was hard-won after I only did that,” she said as she crossed her legs one more time.
Stone concluded her speech with, “I want to say thank you for choosing me to be Woman of the Year because there was a time when all I was was a joke.”
The star previously recreated her Basic Instinct pose for Vogue Portugal’s May issue where she revealed she had to brand herself as a sex symbol in order to attain work as an actress when she was first starting out.
Stone said she “strategically planned” a Playboy photoshoot just as her breakout film Total Recall was released in 1990.
“When I entered the business, the term ‘f—able’ was used to see if you were employable,” Stone told the magazine. “The studio executives sat around a large table and discussed whether or not each of us was in fact ‘f—able.'”
“They thought I was not.”
She added, “I gave this some hard thought as I wanted to work, so I did a strategically planned semi-naked Playboy shoot. Did I fit the part? Obviously not. Did I use my brain to figure out how to appear ‘f—able’? You bet… But I didn’t and don’t (feel like a sex symbol).”
Stone said she’s “sick” of talking about that role saying, “I look at it as a scene in a movie I did 25 plus years ago. Other people have their own perspective.”
The mother of three became an international star following her role and went on to earn an Oscar nomination for her performance in Casino in 1995.