It takes a very intimate, deep level of trust to pull off what Sharon Stone and Sam Smith did on last weekend’s Saturday Night Live. In Smith’s second performance of the night, the legendary Casino star channeled a Hollywood siren from the early silver screen era as she posed elegantly on a couch in a gilded custom gown while Smith and a choir performed the spiritual title track from the singer’s upcoming Gloria album.
Sam Smith Talks ‘Gloria,’ Confidence and ‘Expressing the Liberation I’ve Been Feeling’
Without a word, and hardly even a gesture, Stone’s surprise cameo managed to both upstage Smith and low-key compliment the dramatic performance without making it all about her, a delicate balance the actress told Variety was a result of the very special relationship the two have developed.
Stone told the magazine that she’d met Smith before through her good pal singer Rufus Wainwright — they all sat together at the premiere of the 2019 Judy Garland biopic Judy — which led to Smith DMing Stone a month ago asking if she would be willing to join him on SNL. “And I said, ‘Well, it’s funny, I am listening to Sam Smith radio [on a streaming service] at the moment, so I think the universe has already decided this. I’d be so thrilled to do it, Sam. I just think you’re the most astounding performer and I’d be absolutely ecstatic to do it,’” she said she told Smith.
Because she’s that kind of pro, Stone reached out to her head costumer to have a custom dress made by Indian designer Gaurav Gupta. Describing the “sound bath” she was in on the SNL stage surrounded by Smith and a gospel choir, Stone said the singer’s directions were minimal. “[They] just asked me if I would do it and trusted me. We just innately understand each other, at an almost intimate level. We have no judgment of each other; we have only affirmative feelings about each other as an artist,” she said. “It’s not a competitive sport, but we want each other to bring our best game, and in order to do that, it’s like, ‘Just go for it, girl.’”
As a veteran who has endured too many co-stars stepping on her close-up moments, Stone said her job during Smith’s performance was simple: just listen. “I’m listening. I’m listening and allowing it to be alive in my heart,” she said before seemingly revealing a bit of news. “I think that what we really wanted was that idea of an apparition — almost like [Russian-French painter] Erte. Sam has asked me to do the music video, so I’m sure that’s going to be quite interesting to see how they would like to process that.”
In an interview with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe this week, Smith expounded on the collab as well, explaining that on their upcoming tour the stage is shaped like Aphrodite, which, of course, called for a golden goddess body to inhabit the SNL stage.
“Sharon Stone is going to be in the middle of the stage at SNL in gold as like a piece of life art. The whole performance is just the choir around her singing ‘Gloria’ to her in this golden light. Isn’t it so sick?,” Smith said, noting that the golden goddess had to be Stone because “she’s a powerful woman, and she exudes vulnerability and beauty in a way that to me is real and authentic.”
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