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Sharon Stone Had A Sharp Response When Asked About Working With Meryl Streep And Opened Up About Women In Hollywood Being Compared To Her

"Viola Davis is every bit the actress Meryl Streep is. Emma Thompson. Judy Davis. Olivia Colman. Kate Winslet. But you say Meryl and everybody falls on the floor."

Posted on June 23, 2021, at 9:47 a.m. ET

Sharon Stone made her thoughts on the overwhelming adoration of Meryl Streep very clear, dismantling a question about working alongside her before it had even been fully asked.

Sharon Stone smiles on the red carpet at annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards viewing party.
Phillip Faraone / FilmMagic

In an interview with Zoomer, which was published last month but went viral this week, the reporter went to ask a question about Stone's experience working with Streep in 2019's Laundromat but was quickly cut off as Stone took issue with the question's phrasing.

Meryl Streep and Sharon Stone share a scene in "The Laundromat"
Netflix

The question began: "So when you finally got to work with Meryl Streep, you realized –"

"I like the way you phrase that, that I finally got to work with Meryl Streep," Stone said. "You didn't say, 'Meryl finally got to work with Sharon Stone.' Or we finally got to work together."

Sharon Stone smiles while attending event
Mike Coppola / Getty Images for Tribeca Festival

"Because that's the way her life went, she got built up to be, 'Everyone wants to work with Meryl,'" the 63-year-old went on. "I wonder if she likes that?"

"The way you structured the question is very much the answer to the question," she added. "The business was set up that we should all envy and admire Meryl because only Meryl got to be the good one. And everyone should compete against Meryl."

Stone pointed out that while Streep is an "amazingly wonderful woman and actress" there are a plenty of other women in Hollywood who are "equally as talented" but don't get spoken about with the same reverence.

Meryl Streep smiles at camera
Pacific Press / LightRocket via Getty Images

"Viola Davis is every bit the actress Meryl Streep is," Stone said. "Emma Thompson. Judy Davis. Olivia Colman. Kate Winslet, for fuck's sake. But you say Meryl and everybody falls on the floor."

"I'm a much better villain than Meryl," she carried on. "I'm sure she'd say so. Meryl was not gonna be good in Basic Instinct or in Casino. I would be better. And I know it. And she knows it. But we're all set up to think that only Meryl is so amazing."

"That phrasing has been taught," Stone concluded. "We've been taught that everybody doesn't get a seat at the table. Once one is chosen, nobody else can get in there."

Sharon Stone smiles at camera while attending the Tribeca Festival Awards Night
Dia Dipasupil / Getty Images for Tribeca Festival

Viola Davis has previously spoken of being compared to Streep while being presented with far fewer opportunities and being offered much less money.

Viola Davis and Meryl Streep sit together
Jonathan Leibson / Getty Images

"I have a career that's probably comparable to Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, Sigourney Weaver," Davis said during a 2018 panel event. "They had the same path as me, and yet I am nowhere near them. Not as far as money, not as far as job opportunities — nowhere close to it."

She added: "People say, 'You're a Black Meryl Streep. You are. And we love you. We love you. There is no one like you.' OK, well if there's no one like me, you think I'm that? You pay me what I'm worth. You give me what I'm worth."

You can read Sharon Stone's full interview with Zoomer here.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.