When we asked PEOPLE.com readers to send in questions for Sharon Stone, many fans had one thing on their minds: Just how does the actress, now 48, manage to look so darn good and raise three kids—Roan, 6, Laird, 17 months, and Quinn, 5 months? “You look great and have your sanity,” raved one reader, “so you must be doing something right.” Stone, who is getting Oscar buzz for her turn as a hairdresser in the drama Bobby, spoke with PEOPLE’s J.D. Heyman and revealed all.
What’s the secret to your eternal youth?
OLYMPIA WONG Sendai, Japan
To look good starts from the inside, so you need to be honest. Lying can make you look bad. I don’t use caffeine, I very rarely have alcohol. I believe in [eating in] moderation. But I’m going to eat a croissant when I’m in Paris, because I think it’s healthy to have fun.
Would you consider getting remarried?
COLE WOODSON Collegeville, Pa.
I don’t know. I’m not big on marriage. But when I married before [to Phil Bronstein from 1998 to 2003; her first marriage to producer Michael Greenberg ended in 1987], the people I married were very big on marriage, supposedly. When I do something, I do it with a lot of determination. In the modern world, a lot of people get married like shampoo and a cream rinse. Like, let’s get married and let’s get divorced. And I can’t relate to that.
Are you planning on having more kids?
TANIA CASTILLO Torrance, Calif.
I think we’re good. Three is a wonderful number. I can’t say for sure, because you never know. Life is life.
Was there a lightbulb moment that got you involved in charity work?
BRENDA MACON Houston
I’ve been an activist for a really long time. I’ve been with the American Foundation for AIDS Research for 11 years, and before that I worked on causes like pediatric AIDS and the National Breast Cancer Foundation. The first time I made a substantial check, maybe Total Recall, I got very excited for a week or two. Then I thought, Okay, I’d better figure out what good I’m going to be doing here.
What inspires your style?
ZACHARY DAVIS New Orleans
I get inspired by life and all things in it. I might get inspired by a Chinese maple tree one day or by a painting I saw in a museum or the way I saw someone else dress.
What is the greatest challenge you’ve encountered as a working mother?
ALLISON SERAFIN Houston
Coming back from being sick [after a 2001 brain aneurysm] and then quickly having two more children. I had just gone through a divorce [in 2003 from newspaper editor Bronstein], and that’s always rough. It’s like you’re the phoenix, trying to get up out of those ashes. [I turned a corner] just seeing my children love each other so much, laughing, hugging and kissing each other.
What’s the worst red carpet outfit you’ve ever worn?
SEAN GREEN Deer Park, N.Y.
You know, they all seem good when you’re leaving the house. Frankly, the people that talk about your look—look at them! You’re going, I know you’re an expert, but I’m not so sure about that ensemble!
Do you ever feel insecure about your looks, career or being a mother?
JULIE SCHIEBNER Concord, Calif.
Every person has moments of insecurity, and everybody has someone around who’d like to help them feel insecure! Try not to hang out with them. Those are just the people who don’t have enough to do.
For more of Sharon Stone’s answers, go to PEOPLE.COM/STONE