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Why Sharon Stone loved working with Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci

Sharon Stone has been speaking about the importance of listening while filming, and how Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci were good listeners.

Sharon Stone in Casino

Aubrey Plaza hosted Saturday Night Live on January 21, with Sam Smith as the musical guest, and it’s been praised as one of the best episodes in a long time. A particularly surprising factor of the night was that Sharon Stone made an appearance during the performance of one of Smith’s songs. In a new interview with Variety and her SNL appearance, Stone talked about valuing listening when acting and receiving direction.

“I’ve worked with some of the biggest stars in the business, who will literally talk through my close-up, telling me what they think I should do. They’re so misogynistic — now, that is not Robert De Niro, that is not Joe Pesci [who Stone worked with on Martin Scorsese’s Casino], that is not those guys.”

“But I have worked with some really big stars who will literally talk out loud through my close-up, telling me what to do. They just will not listen to me, and will not allow me to affect their performance with my performance. That’s not great acting. I mean, I get that you’re great and everybody thinks you’re wonderful. But listening, being present for those fractured moments, is really the human experience.”

Sharon Stone found fame in the 1990s, through Paul Verhoeven’s movies Total Recall and especially Basic Instinct. She also appeared in Sliver, and The Quick and the Dead. She was nominated for the Best Actress Oscar for Casino – a three-hour long gangster epic from Martin Scorsese. Casino spans 1973 to 1986, and is mainly set in Las Vegas.

Variety describe Stone’s performance during Sam Smith’s song during SNL; “when Smith begins singing, their powerful voice soaring above the choir, Stone sits up, transfixed by something in the distance, her expression a combination of awe, fear, sadness and a kind of rapture. As the song ends, she turns her head toward the audience, tears welling in her eyes, a grim finality settling over her face. It’s a remarkably subtle and enigmatic performance for such a dramatic song, and not necessarily one to be expected from her past films.”

While we wait to find out where Stone goes next in her career – wouldn’t it be great if she were reunited with Scorsese, as De Niro and Pesci have been many times (most recently in The Irishman)? – check out our guide to the new movies coming up in 2023.