Michael Douglas is claiming that he is an expert at having sex — on camera for movies, that is. The 78-year-old actor recently reflected on one of his most popular movies, Basic Instinct. While at the Cannes Film Festival this week, the actor received the Honorary Palme d’Or. On Wednesday (May 17), Douglas participated in a wide-ranging conversation at the French festival about his career and the importance of family.
At one point, the actor recalled being at the center of controversy when Basic Instinct premiered at the festival in 1992. While breaking down a love scene with his co-star Sharon Stone over 30 years ago, the actor referred to himself as an “expert at sex scenes.” He also famously starred in the sexual thrillers Fatal Attraction (1987) and Disclosure (1994).
The Oscar winner said he is “proud of the fact my history with women in films… most of them have given their best performances.” The “secret” to him becoming a pro is all in the rehearsal, he shared. Comparing it to the choreography involved in doing a fight scene, he explained that it works the same way with a sex scene. “It’s important for the lady that you’re not taking advantage,” added Douglas, noting that his steamy films came before the prevalence of intimacy coordinators on movie sets. “You tell them beforehand when you’re starting: ‘Alright, I’m going to put my hand here. Is that alright? Okay, you put your hand here and then we’re going to go kiss, kiss, and then we are going to go … we’re going to go down.'”
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He added, “It’s very well choreographed.” About the 1992 film’s debut at Cannes decades ago, the actor said it was met with shocked responses. When Basic Instinct played at Cannes decades ago, the actor said the Paul Verhoeven-directed film was met with shocked responses. He said the film was “unique, even for France.” Seeing that sex scene on the Palais Festival’s huge screen “was a little overwhelming, I think, for a lot of people.” He recalled the dinner afterward was “very quiet,” as it seemed that “everybody was just sort of digesting it. But it was a lot of fun.”