A couple of years ago, Sharon Stone was given the screenplay for a film called All I Wish.
She read through the script and, as per the instruction of production, was asked to play the role of the mother of the film’s 25-year-old lead character.
She read it, thought about it and gave the filmmaker Susan Walter a call.
“I said, ‘I think it would be more interesting if I play the daughter,” Stone told Vanity Fair in an interview last week.
“I just didn’t feel that having a 25-year-old woman who didn’t have her life together was that perilous. The stakes would be so much higher, and it would feel more important when the protagonist’s mom 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.”
In an industry where gritty, complicated female leads are rare, Stone took hold of her own narrative and made her dreams her reality.
Filmmaker Walter added Stone had big ideas when it came to changing the direction of the film. Namely, she said, about telling the stories of older, more experienced, more complicated women and the impact that can have on our discourse about women and ageing.
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“[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.”
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you negotiate.