For Sharon Stone, charity really does begin at home.
In the early ’90s, her younger sister Kelly Stone was having a rough go at life. A fall down a flight of stairs required surgery, which didn’t go as planned. This led to even more surgeries, temporary use of a wheelchair and a dependence on painkillers.
“Kelly became very depressed,” the Basic Instinct star recounted by phone. “We are very close and have been through a lot together, so I was very worried about her.”
Stone decided to take matters into her own hands in an unconventional way: She brought Kelly to a camp/halfway house for teen runaways run by Aviva Family & Children’s Services out of Los Angeles.
“She was quite angry with me,” said Stone of her sibling, a former nurse. “But we made an agreement. She couldn’t take any painkillers until she put in the work. Little by little she began to wean herself off the meds. At the end of the camp she was determined to walk, and she got up and she did.”
The two women eventually started their own foundation, Planet Hope, helping families in crisis.
On Friday night, Sharon presented Kelly — who now suffers from lupus — an award for her philanthropy during FUNKSHION Fashion Week Miami Beach at The Setai.
“She’s amazing, she really is,” Stone said of Kelly, who is undergoing chemotherapy to treat her illness. “She’s dedicated so much time to helping others, and now she is fighting for her own life.”
Stone is no slouch in the philanthropy department, either. The Oscar nominee (Casino) also has worked tirelessly for another cause — helping to raise millions for amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research. This off-screen career has helped Stone prepare for her latest role: As the vice president, Natalie Maccabee, in the TNT original series, Agent X, which premieres at 9 p.m. Sunday.
“I think going around the globe for 20 years with amfAR negotiating policy, taking meetings with heads of state and trying not to have a crisis over such a tender issue is quite good preparation to be a politician, let me tell ya,” Stone laughed.
Agent X, costarring John Shea as president and James Earl Jones as chief justice, sounds like a nice break from all the heated chit-chat over the 2016 presidential election.
“It’s a fun, cute popcorn show,” agreed Stone, 57, who also wears executive-producer hat. “But it’s also about patriotism and heroics and takes an interesting look at current affairs.”
Further motivation to see this series: her hunky costar Jeff Hephner, who plays the VP’s special agent.
“Jeff [The O.C.] is a lovely guy, a darling person,” said Stone. “He’s just killing himself in all these action sequences. He’s in amazing shape, but the poor guy just gets beaten to a pulp!”
The single mother of three is particularly liking the fixed hours on her small-screen job as opposed to a movie, when actors often have to spend weeks at a time in a faraway location.
“We’re shooting in L.A., so it’s just a 10-minute drive to the set,” she explained. “I get to go to my kids’ school, activities or events. Sometimes I’ll scoot out in the afternoon.”
While in Miami, Stone will be grabbing some well-deserved R&R.
“I’m from the East Coast, so it’s nice getting back there,” said the Pennsylvania native. “And I can’t wait for the weather in Miami. The climate is just gorgeous.”
She has great memories from filming 1994’s mob drama The Specialist with Sylvester Stallone here.
“I just remember the Cuban influence — the music, the food, the whole experience. I loved watching those storms coming from far away with lightning in the distance. It was a nice time in my life.”