One of the 1990s’ greatest sex symbols, Sharon Stone doesn’t believe “Basic Instinct” would have the same cultural impact if it were released today.

“I think ‘Basic Instinct’ was made at the exact right moment in history because it captured all our fears and doubts and the moment of change of power for women,” she tells Allure. The 61-year-old actress is on the cover of the magazine’s November issue, opening up about sex, love, ambition, and growing older in Hollywood.

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“It’s still an intriguing film, but could it be made now? I doubt that it would have any form of the sensationalism it had at the time. When I began my career, there were only two ways we were allowed to sit: cross at the ankles or ankles under the chair,” she says. “When I was younger, everybody was telling me what was wrong with my body — too this, too that. When I got on ‘Basic Instinct’, they hired a makeup artist that put on pounds of makeup every day, and every day I went to my trailer and took the makeup off. But I wasn’t allowed to choose my makeup artist, nor was my name [above the title] on the poster.”

Emma Summerton for Allure
Emma Summerton for Allure

The actress had a massive brain hemorrhage in 2001 and spent two years learning to walk and talk again. It’s a journey that Stone says helped her see what’s really important in her life.

“I’ve been unbelievably famous. And to go from that to the complete obscurity of neurological ICU — people don’t know what it’s like to learn that lesson, and the falsehoods of false power,” she explains. “When we’re young and we’re so driven by the follies of our youth, sometimes we can miss some of the great beauty and wonder of the simplicity of every day.”

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Now, Stone is focusing on being more vulnerable than she has been in the past and loving every minute of her fame.

“When I was young, my ambition was so intense. Taking off the tough veneer has been my latest mission,” she explains. “I was very lucky. So many of the women who had been famous before me were so good to me. Faye [Dunaway] and Shirley MacLaine — they told me it won’t last forever, enjoy every minute of it.”

Emma Summerton for Allure
Emma Summerton for Allure