A full 27 years on, and it’s impossible to think about Basic Instinct without that famous leg-crossing scene.
Sharon Stone’s femme fatale Catherine Tramell left moviegoers with their jaws in their popcorn back in 1992 after giving murder investigators an eyeful of her vulva.
Elegant, dangerous and sexually liberated, ’90s audiences were both fearful and fascinated by Tramell; a coolly confident character who could disarm seasoned officers with a suggestive shift in her seat.
Remind yourself of the moment in question below:
Stone, 61, has now recreated her most recognisable scene at the GQ Men of the Year Awards in Berlin.
Looking as glamorous as ever in a shimmering black mini dress, Stone took to the stage at the Komische Oper opera house to receive her Woman of the Year Award.
Addressing the star-studded audience, which included her 19-year-old son Roan, Stone said:
I want to share with you one of the main questions that I always get asked in an interview. And so I’m going to share it with you now.
At this point, Stone beckoned towards the wings, and a chair was dragged onstage. Realising what was absolutely about to go down, giggles, whoops and cheers could be heard from the audience.
With a quick-witted grin, Stone seated herself and spoke about the controversial role that would go on to change the course of her life:
So, some years ago – before we were allowed to be who we were in our little towns – I was sitting on a sound stage, 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’.
I said, ‘sure’. I didn’t know this moment would change my life.
As seen in a clip released by GQ Germany, Stone commanded the audience place their feet on the floor ‘like mine’, inviting them all to join her in crossing their legs in a way that precisely channelled the flirtatious – and ultimately career-defining – movie murderess.
You can watch the throwback moment for yourself in the following clip:
However, Stone wasn’t just revisiting the scene to get a titter from the audience. The Academy Award winning actor went on to discuss the difficulties she had had moving beyond the public perception of her based on that one scene.
Speaking openly about how she had once felt like a ‘joke’, Stone urged members of the audience to present themselves ‘in a way that allows you to be respected, liked and loved’.
Once legs were crossed in solidarity throughout the opera house, Stone went on to deliver a powerful speech:
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.
But I’ll tell you this. 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.
And people are going to ask you a lot of difficult questions, if they haven’t already. 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.
Showing incredible oratory skills, Stone continued:
What are you going to 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. You must present yourself in a way that allows you to be respected, liked and loved.
This thing has gotten way out of control, and it was way out of control before it started. And in my opinion, the only way it’s going to change is if we get real laws on the books.
Misdemeanours and felonies. And we get real social services involved in our lives. 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 [crosses legs]. So 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. Thank you very, very much.
Applause erupted as Stone held her award high, a picture of dignity, grace and accomplishment.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.