Those of us who have trouble deciding whether we've been naughty or nice this past year have some delightful company in Sharon Stone, star of the blockbuster Basic Instinct. Was she coy innocent or predatory murderess? Whatever the verdict, Stone is clearly the steamiest new talent in Hollywood. In this month's Playboy Interview, she proves exceptionally candid about sex, brains, gay-bashing, Michael Douglas and why she's basically a girl you could take home to mother. Contributing Editor David Sheff interrogates the woman who made not wearing underwear a provocative fashion option.
Playboy, (ISSN 0032-1478), December 1992, Volume 39, Number 12, Published Monthly by Playboy, 680 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60611. Subscriptions: $29.97 for 12 issues, U.S. Canada, $43.97 for 12 issues. All other foreign, $45 U.S. Currency only. For new and renewal orders and change of address, send to Playboy subscriptions, P.O. Box 2007, Harlan, Iowa 51537-4007. Please allow 6-8 weeks for processing. For change of address, send new and old addresses and allow 45 days for change. Postmaster: Send form 3579 to Playboy, P.O. Box 2007, Harlan, Iowa 51537-4007. Advertising: New York: 747 Third Avenue, New York 10017; Chicago: 680 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago 60611; West Coast: 8560 Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069; Metropolitan Publishers Representatives, Inc.; Atlanta; 3017 Piedmont Road NE, Suite 100, Atlanta, GA 30305; Miami: 2500 South Dixie Highway, Miami, FL 33133; Tampa: 3016 Mason Place, Tampa, FL 33629.
Already Rated NC-17 for its general release, Bad Lieutenant (Aries) is a dark morality play with shock value to spare. Harvey Keitel, stoned and stalkers in one striking sequence, plays the title role. He's a New York detective, rotten to the core, who peddles drugs, gambles recklessly and misuses his authority. A lapsed Catholic on a high-speed guilt trip, he masturbates in front of two young women and becomes psychotically obsessed with the case of a beautiful nun (Frankie Thorn) who has been raped by local thugs. In the movie's strange finale, after an encounter in church with an apparition of Jesus, he suddenly appears to seek redemption rather than revenge. Written by director Abel Ferrara in collaboration with Zoe Lund (the actress who starred in Ferrara's Ms. 45), Bad Lieutenant spells out its themes of hypocrisy and sexual obsession with the intensity of a nightmare. You won't be enlightened, but Keitel's performance has a snaky fascination. [rating]3 bunnies[/rating]
Michael Madsen, 34, is sensational as an amoral sadist who cuts off a cop's ear in Reservoir Dogs (see this month's review). But it was the role of Susan Sarandon's beau in Thelma & Louise that really put his career in gear. "That bounced me out of the bad-guy stereotype," says Madsen, who has three pictures backed up: Fixing the Shadow (with Charlie Sheen—"I'm the guy he's trying to bust in a motorcycle gang. It's actually based on an article called Undercover Angel that ran in Playboy in July 1981"), Almost Blue (playing a jazz saxophonist) and Warner's Free Willy. Of the last, he jokes: "Everyone thinks it means whip your willie, but it's about a twelve-year-old delinquent who wants to free a killer whale. I'm a really nice guy, the kid's foster father."
Central Park Media is rolling out its "Japanimation" collection—sexy high-tech cartoons (called anime in Japan) best known for tough and often nude female characters. Latest titles: The Supergal and Beautiful Dreamer.... A cult hit is born. A-Vision's popular It's Potty Time, a toilet-training vid for the two-to-six set, is also a sleeper on the party-tape circuit. One reason: the catchy theme song, I'm a Super-Duper Pooper.... From the folks who brought you Spitting Image (England's ugly celeb puppets) comes National Exposé (BFS), a vid tabloid featuring the latex likes of Dan Quayle, Cher, the Pope and Arnold Schwarzenegger (who confesses, "Ya, my villie is tiny").... Get out your decoders. Columbia House has released its Spies collection, true tales of global espionage with never-before-seen footage from behind the iron curtain. Call 800-638-2922.... BMG Video is out of this world—and beneath it—with an audiovisual duo. The Wonderful Planet takes you on a mind-blowing junket from the Milky Way to the Amazon rain forests, and The Floating World is a 44-minute undersea odyssey set to the strains of Bach, Debussy and Tchaikovsky.
Motorcade Entertainment's The Archival Film Disc is a retro-fanatic's dream. Included in the limited-edition $100 package: trailers for Hitchcock's Frenzy, Vertigo and Torn Curtain (the last dubbed in French) and a promo for The Robe, with Darryl F. Zanuck hawking the joys of Cinemascope.... Now on laser from Warner, a tuneful twosome. Eric Clapton: Unplugged offers the guitar hero in balladeer mode, taped for MTV's acoustics-only program; and Lou Reed: Magic and Loss Live in Concert finds the Velvet Underground vet fronting the sharpest band he has led in a decade.... MasterVision's best-selling Audubon Society's Video Guide to the Birds of North America has made it to disc. The five volumes now list for $39.95 each. Watch 'em fly.
If the swarm of paparazzi besieging him at last spring's Cannes Film Festival is an indication, kickboxer Jean-Claude Van Damme is fast becoming a matinee idol for the Nineties. No surprise, then, that the movie strongman ranks adrenaline-pumping flicks high on his video hit list. "I love action films," he says, ticking off such edge-of-your-sofa classics as Ben-Hur, Spartacus, Apocalypse Now and Blade Runner. Van Damme occasionally lightens the lineup with "great comedies" or, for steam release, the likes of Angel Heart. So what doesn't Mr. Muscles from Brussels watch? Himself. "I always think there's so much I could have done better," he says. Hey, chill—you're doin' fine.
I'm Sitting in the dentist's office, flipping through a magazine as I wait to be drilled, filled and billed. I notice that four car ads—for Mitsubishi Diamante, GMC Typhoon, Nissan NX2000 and Nissan Sentra SE-R—quote the same source in their copy. That source is Car and Driver. It's one of those situations where all parties involved are well served. The carmakers flaunt the independent validation of their excellence, and Car and Driver gets to look like the ultimate authority. Car and Driver evaluated these cars because Mitsubishi, General Motors and Nissan delivered them, brand-new, to the door, utterly free of charge, for as long as Car and Driver deemed necessary. That is the industry custom. Did I mention that the magazine where these ads appear is, in fact, the August 1992 Car and Driver?
It's in the Cards Department: If you thought there were no more ways to market Elvis, think again. Now you can collect Elvis trading cards—more than 600 of them, in fact. There's the Elvis in the Army collection, Elvis in Vegas, Elvis' cars. You get the picture. The cards are being sold in 12-packs for $1.49. We don't know if bubble gum is included.
When asked what jazz was, Louis Armstrong reportedly said, "Man, if you've got to ask, you'll never know." But for almost as long as people have tried to define jazz, they've argued about what defines a jazz singer. Is swing enough? Is an orchestra too much? And how about scat—or can nuances of tone and phrasing supply enough of the improvisation?
At Years End, publishers have opened the floodgates for 1992 and a veritable tsunami of good reading is bursting into the bookstores. John Updike leads the fiction list with his most enjoyable novel ever, Memories of the Ford Administration (Knopf). The amusing premise of his 15th novel is that Alfred Clayton, a history instructor at a New Hampshire junior college, has been asked by a historians' journal to write his recollections of Gerald Ford's administration. What he remembers, with almost stream-of-con-sciousness candor, is a long, passionate affair with a colleague's wife that almost destroys Alf 's own marriage.
A recent feminist trend in America suggests that men should be taxed for the crude impositions of their gender. We are, according to some, too great a burden to bear, and we should pay for our male sins and defects.
Sunday: I just got out of the shower and I'm looking in the mirror and wondering whose body this is. It can't be mine. I would never have a body this gross. A butt as big as the Ritz. Thighs like a dirty secret. This is one repulsive body. I refuse to have it anymore. I am going on a diet.
The other day, the bus I take to work was unusually crowded. A woman wearing a minidress ended up standing in front of me. I happened to glance at her dress and was immediately frisky. Needless to say, I got a hard-on. I was embarrassed because she stood so close to me that the bulge in my pants pushed on her behind. I didn't mind and the woman didn't react negatively. The bus went around curves and over bumps, throwing her against me. It felt great, but I wondered what she felt or thought. Do women notice such things?—A. P., Char-lottesville, Virginia.
I grew up with television, my wife did not. Her native country—South Africa—banned all broadcasting until 1975. We notice the differences all the time—she hasn't a clue who Beaver was, or why it should matter. She has not seen all 117 episodes of The Brady Bunch and couldn't care less about the difference between Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation. Without a pop-culture base, crossword puzzles are torture.
An article published in the Journal of American College Health suggests that college students are not as well educated on matters of sex and sexual health as most people think—just take a look at the questions about sex that they ask most frequently. (These questions were submitted anonymously, encouraging candor.)
Dr. Jonathan Mann, the Harvard University researcher who co-chaired the eighth international AIDS conference in Amsterdam this summer, put it this way: "We are all working on the twigs, the leaves, the branches. But no one sees the forest."
When you search in Nexis, a data base of magazine and newspaper artizzyy, for stories on priests who molest children, the screen goes blank and returns with the message: "Your search will retrieve more than 500 documents. Do you want to continue?"
This is going to be an upbeat column about how one man, me, beat the system. And I have the documents to prove it. The stairwell leading up from my new townhouse garage is papered with the letterhead stationery of 19 department stores, credit card companies, auto financiers and banks that apologized for taking my good name in vain.
Jessica Hahn is the very model of modern celebrity. She is famous for being famous. And the best thing is, she knows it. "People come up to me and say, 'I know you. Who are you? What are you famous for?' I say, 'I'm Jessica. I was created by the media.'" While the press, and Playboy, were indeed present at the creation, there are signs that Hahn is now managing her own evolution quite nicely. She first recaptured our attention with a knockout performance on Married ... with Children. Ironically, the show's execs had worried about approaching her. Would Hahn find the role of Ricki, a "shoe groupie" who turns up in salesman Al Bundy's bed, beneath her? No way, she told them, "I'll pretend he's a preacher." On the heels of that success came a recent HBO gig and other acting offers, along with her third Playboy pictorial—her most bounteous and beautiful so far. And that's no surprise: Jessica now exercises religiously to perfect her body. And, to keep her career in shape, she reads the trade papers and studies the TV to hone her celeb savvy. "Scandal fame is short-term," she says sagely, and she wants to earn the more lasting kind. She tapes messages for a 900 line, Love Phone, and does personal appearances to pay the bills. She would be the poster girl for the puritan work ethic if puritans didn't hate sex. As a veteran of the scandal wars, she even gets asked for advice by fellow shock troopers. Gennifer Flowers (Bill Clinton's professed amour) requested Jessica's opinion of her business cards, which featured a brightly lipsticked mouth. "I wanted to say, 'Lose the kiss lips, Gennifer.'"
Some women, Commander Norton had decided long ago, should not be allowed aboard ship; weightlessness did things to their breasts that were too damn distracting. It was bad enough when they were motionless, but when they started to move, and sympathetic vibrations set in, it was more than any warm-blooded male should be asked to take. He was quite sure that at least one serious space accident had been caused by acute crew distraction, after the transit of an unholstered lady officer through the control cabin. . . . Whenever the well-built surgeon oscillated into the commander's cabin, he felt a fleeting echo of the old passion. She knew that he felt it, and both were happy. —Arthur C. Clarke, Rendezvous with Rama
The biggest party in America right now is happening in basements, lofts and warehouses across the country. Over the din of industrial music, Gap-clad, unemployed 25-year-olds drink frosty brewdogs and argue about which cast member of the Brady Bunch they most have the hots for. (Ma Brady usually beats out eldest daughter Marcia by a curve.) It's a nation of wild-eyed ravers who dance all night long.
There is a definite pattern to Xer materialism. Xers collect items that are essentially absurd or representative of the fullest flowering of a cultural period that is now universally mocked, such as the trousers of the Seventies or the furniture of the Fifties. The attitude is not simplistically antimodern but is, rather, an adoration and reification of these items' once-and-always hipness. Xers tend toward expertise in the extreme, with a designer's eye for detail in clothing, furniture, appliances, cars, commercial or "folk" painting or sculpture, music, dance, performance art (or happenings), TV and radio programming and, especially, advertisements.
Whose place is this? It's four A.M. and the subsonic bass cabinets just got louder. The warehouse floor literally jumps an inch with every beat, pushing some 500 sweating, trancing, grinding club kids into the air and into outlaw space. Kids slaver through a peak wave of crushing hard house mix, under the smell of fog machines and the pheromones that sweat off young skin laced with hallucinogens and designer psychoactives such as ecstasy. A rave party is roaring.
12:30 P.M. Snap out of recurring "institution" dream to the seventh snooze-delay on the alarm. On hold with unemployment agency. Opportunity to blend up morning brace of mimosas. Or if there is even a slight chance of working for money today, grind up a handful of Sumatran/Kenyan/Italian dark-roast espresso coffee beans and run it through the $350 mini-espresso bar your mom gave you for graduation.
Generation X was the name of one of the greatest punk rock bands of my era, a snarling bomb fronted by that mighty brat Billy Idol. That was in the late Seventies and early Eighties, when punk rock and the CIA's Vietnamization of Central America and the anti-apartheid struggle were the movements that had meaning for us, the Seventies teens, the post–baby boomers.
Are the Generation Xers getting any? Sure, they started doing the nasty earlier and more frequently in their teens than previous waves of libidinous high schoolers. But what about now? Is a middle-class college grad between the ages of 25 and 34 who's romantically involved, by definition, an oxy—excuse me— X-ymoron?
There was no use going any farther down the fire escape. More cops were in the yard: A pair of flashlights white-lined the dark down there. From above, the clonk-clonk of sensible black shoes continued to descend on rusted metal stairs. A realist, Dortmunder stopped where he was on the landing and composed his soul for 10 to 25 as a guest of the state. American plan.
Helmut Newton has been called the king of kink and described as the "dubious master of stylishly sleazy international erotica." Over the past 50 years, he has made a career of capturing disturbing and arresting images—a jodhpured model wearing a saddle, an undie-clad model dunking another model's head into a while porcelain toilet bowl. In fact, his meticulous compositions have been elevated to trademark status. Acknowledged for introducing rough sex into fashion photography, Newton grasped the ineffably strange fascination for sadomasochistic accessories— chains, whips and the spikiest of high heels—that would become commonplace on MTV decades later. He's always managed to transform his assignments into peep shows of a cool aristocratic otherworld, one inhabited by dauntingly self-possessed, oversized women caught in unforgettably curious situations. (Witness, for example, the series he shot for the September 1987 issue of Playboy—never before have milk-fed Playmates appeared so edgily pensive.) Moreover, his photographs are familiar because nothing is squandered by this shrewd product ecologist: Every shot begets an exhibition that begets a catalog, then a published collection. "Pola Women," the 12th of his books, is a 20-year compilation of preliminary Polaroids of nudes and other models. His biography will be published in 1993; until then, when talk gets personal, Newton turns sketchy. Here's what we know: He was born in Berlin in 1920. Emigrated to Melbourne, Australia, during the war. He has been happily married to actress-turned-pholographer June Newton since 1948. Time to change the subject.
The First Time I saw her was during the mid-Fifties on a balmy fall afternoon in New York. I was standing outside the 14th Street building on whose side was painted the giant sign for Irving Klaw Pinup Photos. A door opened and she came out into the street. Men and women turned to look at the long legs, the white, white skin and the black, black, black hair cut in bangs straight across her forehead. And, of course, the smile. It was the smile that could break your heart.
Victor Devlin had never been able to understand why he so lacked in influence over other human beings. He was bright enough to have maintained a high B average through schools and college without exerting himself unduly, sufficiently amusing to have been on intimate terms with a sequence of attractive women and in possession of endearing qualities that caused him to be thought of as a good friend by a host of persons of both sexes. Yet no one in any of these venues or categories ever changed an opinion after listening to one of his arguments, or so much as took a casual suggestion of his (to eat a meal at a restaurant he recommended, to see a movie at his urging, to read a magazine article, to buy a certain shirt), let alone honored his wishes in matters of enduring substance.
It Was a rainy night in Nashville when the lights went out. Barbara Moore was walking down Acklen Avenue, turning men's heads just like always, when it happened. Zap! A bolt of lightning whams down about 12 inches from her pretty ankles. Streetlights are blinking and so is she, tiptoeing down the avenue, thinking, "I almost didn't live to turn twenty-two." You might get a country song out of this popular local gal's brush with that bolt. Call it One Foot Over and I'm Six Feet Under maybe, or You Can't Hide, You're Ionized. But Barbara never gave it much thought. She was busy setting Nashville afire with looks and charm, and anyway, a near-zap experience wasn't the first unusual event in her life. "A life full of excitement, that's a good life," says Barbara, now 24. Who else do you know whose earliest memory is of flying wingovers? Barbara's dad was a pilot in the Pacific Northwest, where she grew up. He'd often give the kids a thrill on family outings. Who else do you know who has worked a slime line? Barbara did, at a salmon cannery in Ketchikan, Alaska, where she gutted fish as they passed on a conveyer belt. She has been a flight attendant, a tournament polo player, a model and an actress who has made videos with Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams, Jr., and Reba McEntire that have aired nationally on TNN and CMT. Now she is Miss December—a woman you're sure to love if you desire a little excitement. After American Eagle airlines brought flight attendant Barbara to Nashville in 1987, she tried her hand at modeling. Local TV ads and a national spot for Toyota—as the blonde in shades and a barely there red dress—led to videos with some of country music's biggest stars. During the shooting of Waylon Jennings' video Wrong, Jennings jokingly called Barbara "double ugly." She was a cheating wife in Reba McEntire's The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia and spiced up Charlie Daniels' Honky Tonk Life. It was heady work for someone who had once chased musicians. "My friend Jennifer and I went to concerts, and we never bought tickets. There was always a guy out back who got brownie points if he brought pretty girls backstage," she says. "He was the guy to show off for." Barbara still likes showing off, but she's more sophisticated these days. Rather than slipping through the stage door with a smile and a twitch of her hips, she now takes Playboy's center stage as the season's star. "This will help my career because everybody everywhere will see me," she says, "but that's not the big thing." What is? "The fun. Talk about being the center of attention—I love having my picture taken." Her life was charmed already. When the airline offered a job in any of three towns, she chose Nashville because her uncle Gene once spent time there and liked it. Or none of this might have happened. Unless, as Barbara believes, fate carried her to the centerfold: "I dreamed of this for so long, it had to happen." Remember that lightning bolt? It never had a chance.
There's Something comforting about my line of work: I am in no danger of running out of it. Every time I painstakingly wind my way through a new case of executive greed, a dump truck shows up and buries me in 50 more cubic yards of the stuff.
There was a point in the midst of the Olympic Dream Team nightmare when I almost forgot that basketball was supposed to be an unpredictable, intensely competitive drama, rather than a flag-waving dunk-fest. My mind kept wandering to memories of games between the Harlem Globetrotters and their patsies, the Washington Generals. Would Michael Jordan take a run at Charles Barkley with a bucket of water, only to dump confetti on a gasping crowd? I knew then that I finally understood the term "exhibition sport."
It comes as no surprise that the twentysomething series Melrose Place is such a hit. After all, spending an hour a week with Josie Bissett and Courtney Thorne-Smith beats the hormones out of watching The Golden Girls. Plus, Melrose Place confronts real issues such as homelessness, sexual harassment and how to keep in rhythm during cardio-funk aerobics. And yes, those handsome male co-stars know how to dress, which is why we asked them to model six sharp holiday outfits. The key to the clothing they're wearing is contrast—combining dark colors with bright ones. A royal-blue sports jacket, for example, stands out over a dark pullover sweater and trousers. So does a boldly printed vest over a black crewneck. As for the sexy female cast members, well, they'd look good in just about anything.
Ronald Reagan claimed he had The McLaughlin Group figured out: "John took a simple Sunday-morning discussion format out of the issues of our day and, using the insight, skill and great humility that have become his trademark, managed to turn it into a political version of Animal House."
If rumors "counted, both of this year's presidential candidates might have qualified as Sex Stars of 1992. But Sex Stars are judged by a higher standard and must ultimately overcome the competition in a distinctly different list of primaries. This year witnessed the triumph of tough.
Nashville's secret is out—everyone's gone country. That's the big news in 1992. Now that the music charts more accurately reflect the taste of the album-buying public, you don't have to wear cowboy boots to like Billy Ray Cyrus, Garth Brooks, Wynonna Judd or Lorrie Morgan. On a more cautious note, censors are still out and about, putting Ice-T and much of rap on trial in the press and the corporate boardrooms. Before you decide you've heard it all, check out Arrested Development and the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy to hear where rap is going in 1993. Soundtrack LPs stayed strong this year (even the Olympics had one, Barcelona Gold). On the road, the Boss returned, the Dead continued to call up the faithful and Lollapalooza II proved good ideas can be repeated successfully (just ask the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who went from the boys in the band to headliners in just one year). Other news: Seattle solidified its hold on new music with Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden. Finally, Kris Kross came along with their clothes on backward, rapping double platinum on Totally Krossed Out. Call it dope, call it slammin', call it hip, call it hot—it's music and it's powerful.
Playboy expands your purchasing power by providing a list of retailers and manufacturers you can contact for information on where to find this month's merchandise. To buy the apparel and accessories shown on pages 32, 134–139, 164–169, 173–175 and 245, check the listings below to find the store nearest you.
A gift of liquor is one of the easiest ways to cure those who-gets-what holiday blues. Then, too, this year's bottle could well end up on your own back bar. Who but the most generous Santa would bestow Courvoisier's $3750 Succession "J.L." cognac on anyone but himself? Or a $3000 Glenfiddich 30-year-old single-malt Scotch that's sold in an imported crystal decanter with a sterling-silver stag's-head stopper? But the ultimate holiday liquid asset is being offered by Jim Beam—an oak barrel of Booker Noe's True Barrel bourbon, plus two first-class airline tickets to Clermont, Kentucky, where the barrel is selected and its contents bottled. The price? A mere $20,000. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good nip.