Sharon Stone Says She Paid Leonardo DiCaprio for 'The Quick and the Dead' Out of Her Own Salary

At the time, Sharon Stone said the studio didn't want to hire an "unknown" like Leonardo DiCaprio for the western film

Sharon Stone, Leonardo DiCaprio
Photo: Amy Sussman/Getty; Kevork Djansezian/Getty

Leonardo DiCaprio has Sharon Stone to thank for helping him secure his star-making role in The Quick and the Dead.

In Stone's new memoir The Beauty of Living Twice, out now, the actress recounts the casting of DiCaprio in the 1995 western, and how she felt strongly about hiring the actor even though TriStar Pictures, the company backing the film, felt otherwise.

As a co-producer on the film, Stone, 63, said she remembered auditioning several teens for the role, but DiCaprio was the "only one who nailed the audition."

"In my opinion: he was the only one who came in and cried, begging his father to love him as he died in the scene," Stone wrote in the memoir.

While Stone said she wanted to hire DiCaprio, she recalled the studio not wanting to cast the actor as he was just starting out his career at the time.

"Why an unknown, Sharon, why are you always shooting yourself in the foot?" she remembered the studio asking. "The studio said if I wanted him so much, I could pay him out of my own salary. So I did."

The Quick and The Dead
Murray Close/Tri Star/Kobal/Shutterstock

The Basic Instinct star also reveals she had a hard time hiring Sam Raimi to direct the film as TriStar Pictures thought of him as a "D-movie director" due to his history of low-budget movies.

Stone ended up telling the studio that Raimi would "work nearly for free as an enticement" and was eventually brought on board.

In her memoir, the actress discusses several other challenging experiences she's had throughout her career, including being tricked not wearing underwear in a Basic Instinct scene.

Stone opens up about being tricked into taking her underwear off during the infamous cross-legged scene under the pretense that her private area would not be visible in the film.

Sharon Stone
Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct. Everett Collection

In an excerpt of her memoir obtained by Vanity Fair, the actress said she was called to see the final cut of the movie "with a room full of agents and lawyers, most of whom had nothing to do with the project."

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"That was how I saw my vagina-shot for the first time, long after I'd been told, 'We can't see anything—I just need you to remove your panties, as the white is reflecting the light, so we know you have panties on,' " she wrote. "Yes, there have been many points of view on this topic, but since I'm the one with the vagina, in question, let me say: The other points of view are bulls–. … It was me and my parts up there."

After the viewing, Stone said she slapped "Paul [Verhoeven] across the face, left, went to my car, and called my lawyer, Marty Singer."

The Beauty of Living Twice is out now.

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