There’s a short profile and photo spread of Sharon Stone in the September issue of Harper’s Bazaar, and it’s truly, madly, deeply worth your time to read in full. In the piece—for which she posed nude—she discusses things like the existential crises she had while guest starring on a popular TV show, the 2001 brain aneurism that gave her permanent brain damage, and her “stupid” love life.
Stone has spent the better part of 15 years drifting in and out of the spotlight, but has been unable to hold its attention for more than a few moments at a time. A particularly bleak moment in her career was in 2010, during her stint on Law & Order: SVU.
“That was humiliating,” the actress recalls. “Having worked with the finest people in the industry, I was like, ‘Wow, I’m really at the back of the line here. I’m wearing L’eggs panty hose, and in makeup they start out by putting this white primer on my face.’ I’m like, ‘This is so bad. What did I do to deserve this?’ “
But it wasn’t something she did at all. The personality change that transformed her from Academy Award-nominated actress to TV guest star incapable of remembering her lines, Stone says, was caused by a brain hemorrhage she suffered 14 years ago.
“It almost feels like my entire DNA changed. My brain isn’t sitting where it used to, my body type changed, and even my food allergies are different.” On the plus side, “I became more emotionally intelligent. I chose to work very hard to open up other parts of my mind. Now I’m stronger. And I can be abrasively direct. That scares people, but I think that’s not my problem.” She laughs. “It’s like, I have brain damage; you’ll just have to deal with it.”
Reading the last bit is as satisfying as taking a sip of ice-cold seltzer on the hottest day of the year. “She laughs. ‘It’s like, I have brain damage; you’ll just have to deal with it.’” It’s easy to assume Stone says some variation of that at least, oh, four times a week. And after such a traumatic experience, it’s her right!
She gives the coffee shop owner a $1 bill instead of a $5: “She laughs. ‘It’s like, I have brain damage; you’ll just have to deal with it.’”
A TSA agent gets frustrated after she attempts to walk through the security checkpoint without removing her belt, shoes, and enormous necklace. “She laughs. ‘It’s like, I have brain damage; you’ll just have to deal with it.’”
An Uber driver gets upset after she rates him one star: “She laughs. ‘It’s like, I have brain damage; you’ll just have to deal with it.’”
Stone goes on to discuss how that abrasiveness affected her personal life.
“I never get asked out,” she laments. “It’s so stupid. I don’t know what to do.” Lately, she says, “I’ve been getting more brazen with flirting, but I don’t think men realize that I’m flirting. They just think, Oh, she’s fun!” She turns to her longtime assistant and asks, “Do you think people even realize I’m straight? I think they have questions about it because I have so many lesbian friends right now.”
There’s also a whopper of an ending, but I couldn’t possibly spoil it here.
Welcome back, Sharon. Hope you stick around a little longer this time.
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Image via Mark Abrahams/Harper’s Bazaar