Sorry Millennials, looks like a healthy dose of life experience counts for something after all, even in Hollywood.
When Sharon Stone, now 60, was offered a role in the rom-com All I Wish, the filmmaker originally asked her to play the mum of the movie’s 25-year-old protagonist.
But, fresh from her critical success in Foxtel murder-mystery Mosaic, the worldly star of some of the most influential films of our generation, had other ideas.
After sitting on the script for a month, she rang back suggesting it would be a far more interesting story – and more leverage for financing and ticket sales – if she played the daughter instead.
“I just didn’t feel that having a 25-year-old woman who didn’t have her life together was that perilous,” she tells Vanity Fair.
“The stakes would be so much higher, and it would feel more important when the protagonist’s mum gets sick if we are older, because this is what happens in real life. This is the stuff we all really have to deal with, and think about, and come to terms with. I just feel there’s so much more comedy in the truth.”
Luckily, first-time filmmaker Susan Walter saw the light, casting Sharon as Senna, All I Wish’s flighty, fedora-wearing wardrobe stylist.
Susan reportedly toyed with the idea of updating the script to make the character and plot details what she believed to be more age appropriate for the Basic Instinct (1992) star.
But Sharon was having none of that; she wanted to show audiences that the over-50s aren’t all ready to be pigeon-holed as medicated arthritics with one foot in the grave.
Adds Susan: “[Sharon’s] aware that what we see on the big screen can become our reality . . . Sharon said, ‘Don’t explain it. Just let these characters be vibrant and alive and sexy. Just do it!’ Show people in their fifties doing amazing things, she said, and audiences will subconsciously take that on. Just by seeing Sharon on-screen doing these things, feeling these feelings, falling in love, being who she is, audiences will feel that way too.”
Sharon also insisted on no visual trickery, or shortcuts when it came to filming the physical elements.
In one of several scenes featuring Senna riding a scooter, Sharon has Senna actually push the scooter up a hill after it doesn’t start, for an added bit of comic relief. Rather than simply fall off a bed in one scene, Sharon ups the physical-comedy ante to bang into a wall as well.
She also took the chance to show that women of her age also aren’t ready to watch sporting events from the sideline either.
Sharon filmed the competitive beach-volleyball scene while wearing a string-bikini top and a fishtail braid, looking hotter than most 20-somethings.
“These are things that we actually do as normal people,” Sharon explains. “Women don’t always have to act like a princess who sits on a sofa, wears nine-inch heels, and acts like a viper.”
All I Wish is due for release in the U.S. on March 30. No word yet on when we can watch in Australia, but we’ll keep you posted.