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“Hollywood turned their backs on her”: Sharon Stone’s ‘Basic Instinct’ Director Failed to Protect His $45M Erotic Film Actress That Nearly Went to Charlize Theron

"Hollywood turned their backs on her": Sharon Stone's 'Basic Instinct' Director Failed to Protect His $45M Erotic Film Actress That Nearly Went to Charlize Theron

Sharon Stone’s Basic Instinct has been one of the most highly appreciated classic movies of all time. The 1992 neo-noir erotic thriller film not only catapulted Stone’s career but also turned the director Paul Verhoeven into one of the most renowned filmmakers of all time. However, following Basic Instinct, Verhoeven came up with another erotic thriller Showgirls, which nearly starred Charlize Theron. 

Charlize Theron
Charlize Theron

However, Paul Verhoeven decided not to cast Theron, as he believed it might end her career. Thus, Sharon Stone’s Basic Instinct director ended up casting Elizabeth Berkley in Showgirls. And certainly, the fear that led Verhoeven to protect Charlize Theron, ended up ruining Berkley’s career. And the director failed to protect his actress. 

Also read: “She just shoved me in one of the takes”: Before Sharon Stone’s Slap, Kaley Cuoco Nearly Got Hurt by Her The Big Bang Theory Co-Star for a Similar Reason

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Sharon Stone’s Basic Instinct Director Saved Charlize Theron’s Career  

Following the release of the 1992 neo-noir erotic thriller Basic Instinct starring Sharon Stone, director Paul Verhoeven earned immense fame, which even led him to come up with another erotic thriller in 1995. With Showgirls, Verhoeven narrated the story of an aspiring showgirl determined to climb to the top of the entertainment industry. 

Charlize Theron
Theron auditioned for Showgirls

Looking for actresses to play the lead role before Elizabeth Berkley committed to the character, Charlize Theron auditioned for the movie. During an interview with MTV News, the actress revealed how the director was once interested in her but ended up striking a deal with Berkley. 

It was the second audition I ever went to. From what I hear, they really liked me. I think the talks fell through with the actress [Elizabeth Berkley] that ended up doing it…But at some point [director] Paul [Verhoeven] was interested in me doing it, yeah.” 

Paul Verhoeven
Paul Verhoeven saved Theron’s career by rejecting her from Showgirls

Later on, Paul Verhoeven revealed during an interview with New York Daily News via Contact Music, that he didn’t choose Theron as she didn’t fit the character well. Further reflecting upon Hollywood’s atrocities, the director even added that losing the role was a blessing in disguise. 

She was very lucky that she did not get the part. I wish Charlize congratulations for that because it would have been a miserable 20 years for her!” 

Also read: “I will never do it again”: Marvel Star Charlize Theron Openly Refused She’ll Never Do One Thing While Taking on Movie Roles

Paul Verhoeven Couldn’t Protect His Showgirls Actress Elizabeth Berkley

However, while Sharon Stone’s 1992 erotic thriller director Paul Verhoeven luckily saved Charlize Theron’s career, after refusing to cast her in Showgirls, he failed to protect his film’s actress Elizabeth Berkley. Choosing Berkley over Theron, as the Atomic Blonde actress failed to impress Verhoeven, the director saved her career from being tanked because of the 1995 movie. 

From Sharon Stone's Basic Instinct director
Showgirls (1995)

Certainly, a similar fate was served by Elizabeth Berkley as Showgirls experienced a brutal reception, which ended up with the actress facing media attacks. During an interview with People, Berkley revealed no one came to her rescue, despite knowing none of it was her fault. Which ended up with Verhoeven feeling guilty and apologizing later. 

Of course it was disappointing that it didn’t do well, but there was so much cruelty around it. I was bullied. And I didn’t understand why I was being blamed. The job as an actor is to fulfill the vision of the director. And I did everything I was supposed to do.”  

Elizabeth Berkley
Elizabeth Berkley suffered a lot for Paul Verhoeven’s movie

In the end, according to New York Daily News via Contact Music, Paul Verhoeven issued an apology to Berkley, stating, “Hollywood turned their backs on her. If somebody has to be blamed, it should be me because I thought that it was interesting to portray someone like that”. Thus, while the director luckily saved Charlize Theron’s career, he failed to protect his actress, Elizabeth Berkley from the wrath of the media, for Showgirls.

Watch Showgirls on Amazon Prime Video. 

Read more: Leonardo DiCaprio and His “Pus*y Posse” Allegedly Invited Elizabeth Berkley For a Dinner Without Her Boyfriend, Got Slapped With a $45 Million Lawsuit After Horrible Turn of Events

Source: MTV News, New York Daily News (via Contact Music), People

Written by Krittika Mukherjee

Finding her escapism in art and fiction, Krittika joined our team at FandomWire with a penchant for creativity. But when she's not working, this diehard Potterhead sets out to explore the world and learn new things.