“She would probably have been chewed up”: Charlize Theron Owes Her Career To Sharon Stone’s ‘Basic Instinct’ Director For His One Decision That Saved Her Life

The career of a Hollywood actress is filled with admirers, opportunities, and a lot of reverence from both within the industry and beyond.

Now, considering you’re none other than Charlize Theron herself, then those same things are at your fingertips by a hundredfold. Striking a perfect balance between extremely good looks and a natural talent for acting, no wonder the actress is one of the biggest names in the industry.

Charlize Theron

Charlize Theron

Her career, which has now spanned more than two decades has been filled with challenges that the actress has overcome to solidify her name in the history books of cinema. But along with that, she’s also been quite lucky to receive great opportunities in her life, and also lose some of those, which were lucky for her in their own way.

Charlize Theron Was Lucky She Didn’t Get The Lead Role In Paul Verhoeven’s Showgirls

Elizabeth Berkley on the sets of Showgirls

Elizabeth Berkley on the sets of Showgirls

Opportunities are things that are hard to come by when you are just starting off in the industry as a novice, and most of the time, these opportunities might be missed by those budding stars.

But this time was different, as the opportunity that the then-budding actress Charlize Theron missed might just have saved her reputation and her career from total ruin. The film that she missed was none other than Showgirls, made by Paul Verhoeven, the director of the iconic thriller/mystery film Basic Instinct which featured Sharon Stone as the lead.

In an interview with the New York Daily News (via Contact Music), Verhoeven talked about how he rejected the Atomic Blonde star to feature Elizabeth Berkley in the lead role of his film.

He also touched on the fact that the critics absolutely blasted the film for being a complete mess, which also affected Berkley’s career so much that it hasn’t been the same ever since. Therefore, he feels like Theron dodged a bullet that could’ve proved lethal for her career. He said:

“Charlize also auditioned, and I don’t recall her having any problem with the nudity at all, She was good and wanted the part, but basically she was not well known enough at the time and just did not fit the part, so we said no. I have full respect for Charlize, but if she had been offered the part then she would probably have been chewed up in the same way they treated Elizabeth. She was very lucky that she did not get the part. I wish Charlize congratulations for that because it would have been a miserable 20 years for her!”

Therefore, rejection is what turned the actress’ career in a different direction, where she now sits at the top of the entertainment industry.

What Was Showgirls About?

A still from Showgirls

A still from Showgirls

Following the tale of dreams of fame and fortune that every man and woman thinks about, Showgirls tells the story of a young and beautiful girl named Nomi, who has the dream of becoming the biggest showgirl in the world, which brings her to the city of Las Vegas with her life packed inside a singular suitcase.

Here, after first being employed at a strip club, she quickly finds her ticket to the top when she meets Cristal, who is the marquee dancer of the famous Stardust Hotel along with her boyfriend Zack. But as she starts ascending this ladder, everything that happens to her makes her question whether it will all pay out in the end.

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