A sign of an exceptional actress: as she walked up the Red Carpet to the opening ceremony of the Marrakech International Film Festival, Sharon Stone, elegant in a swinging black cape and emerald earrings, appeared strained and serious, obliged to answer journalists' questions in 30-second sound-bites. But once on stage, she bounded in front of the audience, with great laughter, swinging her arms up and pivoting her hips in a dance move, her face radiantly open.
"It is Thanksgiving, and I am thankful to be here," she told the international audience. "In Morocco, a Muslim country with a true spirit of peace and compassion, at a festival which brings cultures together from around the world, which is so important at this political time. It is an esteemed honor to have this opportunity."
Martin Scorsese ,the jury president at this year's festival, greeted Sharon Stone as "his friend", whom he directed in Casino. It was a treat to watch Scorsese watch a clip of his own film, his hands crossed behind his back, looking up at the famous scene where De Niro first falls in love with "Ginger", the role which earned Stone a Golden Globe Award.
"She is a true star," Scorsese said in homage to Stone, whom he presented with the festival's Tribute Award at the ceremony. "She has classic beauty, of course, but she also has the greater inner beauty of Platonic ideals. She is brilliant, fearless, and wild."
The Marrakech film festival honored Stone for her lifelong career in films such as Basic Instinct, Gloria, Total Recall, and Broken Flowers.
"She is an icon," Bruno Barde, artistic director of the festival, said, as he explained why she was chosen for this prize.
In one of the sound-bites, Stone revealed the person behind the iconic image. A journalist asked Stone (noted for her work with charities such as Amfar, Project Angel Food and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital): "Do you think it is a duty of actresses to give their presence to humanitarian causes as you do?"
"No I do not," Stone said immediately. "It is important to do what is good for your own destiny. All I can say is that it is important to me."