Sharon Stone Had to Convince ‘Casino’ Oscar Campaigners to Pursue Best Actress Nom: ‘You Won’t Win’

7 March 2023

Sharon Stone always prefers to bet on herself.

The “Casino” actress revealed that she was encouraged to run in the Best Supporting Actress Academy Awards category for her role in the 1995 Martin Scorsese film. However, Stone was determined to earn her rightful place in the Best Actress lead category, even if it lowered her odds of winning against Emma Thompson (“Sense and Sensibility”), Meryl Streep (“The Bridges of Madison County”), Elisabeth Shue (“Leaving Las Vegas”), and Susan Sarandon (“Dead Man Walking”), who ultimately took home the 1996 Oscar.

“I was super surprised. I mean, they told me, ‘We can run for Supporting Actress and you’ll win the Oscar. You can’t win for leading lady but they’re never going to let you get a leading lady Oscar,’ because it was me,” Stone said during the latest iHeartPodcast “Table for Two with Bruce Bozzi” episode, citing her controversial reputation following “Basic Instinct.”

Stone continued, “And I said, ‘But I am the leading lady in the film, so I want to run for leading lady.’ And they said, ‘But you won’t win.’ And I said, ‘I don’t care. I’m not in it to win it – that’s not the point here.’ The point is the actual work that I did and I did the work for five months with Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci and James Woods. I did the work, so I am going to be in the category of the work that I did. I’m not in it so that you’ll say, ‘Oh, OK Sharon, you can have it. You can have the statue.’ No. I am in the lane that I drove in.”

Stone admitted, “So I didn’t expect to get the Oscar because people don’t think of me as an actress. They don’t think of me as a person who loves her craft because I don’t walk around saying that. I don’t walk around saying, ‘I’m a dramatic actress.’ I don’t walk around having discussions on TV about my ‘dramatic acting.’ I don’t talk about my ‘art form’ because I don’t think of it like that, at all.”

The “Sliver” actress likened explaining her acting approach to “trying to explain how the wind meets the trees.”

“What I do, and this is why I love playing people that already lived, because I feel like I open my soul and let them talk through me. And so I’m not a ‘dramatic actress.’ I am a spiritual conduit,” Stone said. “And when I have the extraordinary pleasure and honor of receiving a script that is actually intended for me, I know it when I get it and I feel like I knew it when I got the ‘Casino’ script. They didn’t know it when I got the ‘Casino’ script and they were seeing so many other people. I was just like, ‘I’m going to wait until they’re done with that.’”

She added, “I was so blessed to have that part,” calling her co-stars Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci the “finest actors in the business” plus Scorsese as “the greatest director of all time.”

“I love that movie. I love those guys, I love that Nick Pileggi script, I love those people,” Stone shared.

And “Casino” isn’t the first time she was not taken seriously by Hollywood elites. Stone recalled being invited to her first Academy Awards ceremony to present before “Basic Instinct” was released. Due to no stylist wanting to dress her, Stone attended the film’s biggest night in a “Betsey Johnson polyester jumpsuit” she bought herself.

Stone later detailed being “laughed” at during the Golden Globes when her name was read for Best Actress in “Basic Instinct.”

“It was horrible! I was so humiliated!” Stone shared. “And I [thought], ‘Does anybody have any idea how hard it was to play that part? How gut-wrenching and frightening, and how much work it was to play this part right and kind of try to carry this complex movie that was really breaking all boundaries, and everybody was protesting against – and the pressure?’”

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