[Sharon] Stone seemed headed for a career full of direct-to-video erotic thrillers with names like Sordid Obsession or, um, Risk Addiction until she caught the fancy of Paul Verhoeven, one of world cinema’s premier evil geniuses and a man who understands the primal appeal of an icy blonde like no one since Alfred Hitchcock. Verhoeven cast her in a juicy, attention-grabbing role as Arnold Schwarzenegger’s wife in Total Recall. Later, when Kim Basinger, Emma Thompson, Michelle Pfeiffer, Kelly Lynch, Greta Scacchi, Meg Ryan, Julia Roberts, and Geena Davis all passed on the lead role in Basic Instinct, Verhoeven turned to Stone. Yes, Verhoeven had a strong hunch that audiences all over the world would pay good money to see Sharon Stone’s lady parts and, to a much lesser extent, the rest of her. In her breakthrough role, Stone was like a contemporary Grace Kelly, only with less class and a greater willingness to expose her vagina in public. In the low-rent world of Basic Instinct scribe Joe Estzerhas, that’s considered a fair trade-off.