Sharon Stone is making up for lost time. Absent from the screen for three years, she’s in talks to star in not one but two indie biopics, according to published reports. In ”Liar’s Club,” based on Mary Karr’s memoir, she would play the mother of Karr, who wrote in the book of the alcoholism and dysfunction that marked her Texas upbringing. In ”A Different Loyalty,” she would play Eleanor Brewer Philby, the American-born wife of British spy Kim Philby (to be played by Rupert Everett), who was secretly a mole for the Soviet Union and who defected to Moscow in 1963. (Kim Basinger had been attached to the role but has dropped out.) Director Marek Kanievska (”Where the Money Is”) plans to shoot the movie in Europe some time this fall.
It’s not clear which movie would go before the cameras first, but either would mark a comeback of sorts for Stone. The 44-year-old actress hasn’t had a starring role in a big-screen film since 1999’s little-seen ”Simpatico.” Her last two movies, the 2000 releases ”Beautiful Joe” and ”Picking Up the Pieces,” both went straight to cable. She had hoped to make a ”Basic Instinct” sequel last year, but the project fell apart after she failed to approve of several potential male costars (notably, Benjamin Bratt), whereupon Stone sued producers Andrew Vajna and Mario Kassar for $14 million, claiming she had a pay-or-play deal that entitled her to her salary even if the movie didn’t get made. That suit is still pending.
True to form, Stone’s new work has already caused controversy. British intelligence veterans have grumbled to England’s Daily Telegraph that ”A Different Loyalty” will glamorize the traitorous Philby; the paper quotes the filmmakers as saying the movie tells ”parallel stories of one woman’s obsession with a man, and that man’s equally passionate adherence to communism.” ”We are living in a perverted moral universe if we make heroes out of people like this,” former British Foreign Office staffer Alan Judd told the Telegraph in May. ”The fact is that Philby did what he did. He was famous because he was a traitor, and the fact is that he was spying for one of the most evil, tyrannical regimes there was.”