By Amy Ryan
March 22, 2006 at 12:00 PM EST

I know — it’s so easy to pick on Sharon Stone.

In the run-up to next Friday’s release of Basic Instinct 2, everyone from Defamer to Newsweek has had a few chuckles at her expense, giggling at her outspokenness and marveling at her exhibitionism. But let’s remember a couple of things:

First, she’s pretty much the only old-fashioned Hollywood movie goddess we have left, and by that, I mean a star who realizes it’s her job to be larger than life all the time, whether in her fashion choices, public statements, or film performances.

Second, sometimes that fearlessness (shamelessness) has paid off on screen in an unforgettable way; not just in the first Basic Instinct, but also in Casino, The Muse, Broken Flowers (a movie not worth seeing except for her brief turn in it), Total Recall, Cold Creek Manor, and Irreconcilable Differences. No doubt her performance in Basic Instinct 2, whether the film is good or bad, will be similarly memorable.

Besides, if you really want wacky, check out Liza Minnelli in her recent appearance on Larry King Live. Zany with a Z.

addCredit(“Sharon Stone: Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters”)

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