SHOOTING NEW FILM HAS BEEN HELL FOR SHARON STONE

Published on: October 10, 2002

Bad luck is stalking Sharon Stone on the set of her new movie, a creepy thriller called "The Devil's Throat."

First the actress was almost forced to back out of her starring role when her father was stricken with cancer. Then she suffered dangerous vertigo and mysterious health problems on the set -- and even had a terrifying brush with two overzealous fans.

"It's just been one thing after another for me on this movie," Sharon told an associate. "It's been an absolute nightmare!"

This is Sharon's first major studio movie since the 1998 sci-fi dud "Sphere," but problems had begun even before she arrived on the set in Cambridge, Canada, to play opposite Dennis Quaid and Stephen Dorff.

"She almost backed out of 'The Devil's Throat' at the last minute because she was so worried about her parents," the insider said. "Her dad Joe has cancer of the esophagus and she had put her film career on hold to take care of him and her mom Dorothy while he received outpatient treatment at a hospital in L.A."

But her father improved, and the "Basic Instinct" star went on to Canada to play the demanding role of a woman who, with her husband, is terrorized by an ex-convict in their country home. There her bad luck continued.

Early in the filming, she was doing a scene on the roof of a three-story farmhouse when she was struck by a crippling attack of vertigo and suddenly froze on the roof, high above the ground.

"She couldn't move a muscle," said the insider. "She was terrified, afraid to look down. She was sweating and her eyes bulged. Finally, crew members realized what was going on and got her down. They had to stop filming until Sharon could compose herself."

Another scene required Sharon to plunge into a deep hole in the ground at night during a storm, then get drenched as the cameras rolled. But as the cast and crew gathered to film the scene, Sharon became the focus of a frightening health scare.

"The 10-foot hole had been dug to resemble a dank, dark well," the insider said. "But Sharon was terrified of doing the scene. She appeared very shaky and apprehensive."

When director Mike Figgis tried to convince her to do the shoot, Sharon revealed the real cause of her fears:

"She said she'd been constantly sick to her stomach, that she couldn't keep anything down, and had lost 10 pounds," a source close to the production told The ENQUIRER. "She didn't think she was physically up to it.

"Sharon had suffered a near-fatal brain aneurysm a year ago and no one wanted a repeat of that. Mike suggested she see someone as soon as possible."

The worried star went to nearby Toronto for a complete examination and test results showed she was suffering only from a severe stomach flu and stress. Ever the trouper, she gamely returned to work and did the well scene -- but without the drenching rain. But, incredibly, her bad luck soon led to worse stress when two fans showed up on the set.

"They scared the daylights out of her," said the source. "A man and a woman drove up to the set and said they had to see her personally, that they were huge fans. When the guards told them they couldn't, they became hostile and repeated that they wanted to meet the actress.

"As they drove away, the guards copied down their license plate and the local police interviewed them at length. While they didn't believe they posed any threat to Sharon, she and the film company immediately had two off-duty police officers guarding her and her house day and night."

Sharon's husband, San Francisco newspaper editor Phil Bronstein, was not with her at the time. But he and the couple's young son, Roan, 21¼2, have flown back and forth between San Francisco and Toronto to make sure Sharon is all right, and little Roan and his nannies have stayed with her.

Still, making "The Devil's Throat" has been hell for Sharon, who wants to put her evil fortune behind her, but is still giving it her best effort.

"She can't wait until shooting wraps," said the insider.