Couldn’t help but be amused by Shaun Walker’s piece in the Independent today, on actress Sharon Stone’s apparent predilection for all things Russian. Those of you who had the misfortune to witness Vladimir Putin crooning Blueberry Hill at a fundraiser event may remember with a similar grimace the reaction of the Hollywood guests who lapped up the Prime Minister’s publicity stunt with as much circumspection as could be expected of the Nashi youth. Stone was among the attendees. The Hollywood star, rather like a Russian doll, seems to be multiplying her appearances at Russo-centric functions of late. Walker gives us his take on this celebrity’s ostensible crush on the Kremlin:
One person has been popping up more than any other of late though, and that’sSharon Stone. At anything Russia-related these days, her grinning face seemsto put in an appearance, like some kind of recurring nightmare, supportingwhatever it is that the particular junket is about. A trusted source told meabout the prices to bring different “entertainers” to Russia forevents – Stone is one of the more expensive, reportedly coming in at as muchas $250,000 a time. But pay that, and, calendar permitting, she’ll likely bethere.
A week ago, she was in Moscow for some music awards. “I love Russia. Ilove the country. I love everything about Russia,” she gurned, to wildapplause. Two days later, she was in Tbilisi, the Georgian capital, for thepremiere of Five Days in August, a propaganda flick about the 2008Russia-Georgia War, which paints a less than pleasant (and sometimes lessthan truthful) picture of her beloved Russians. She also took time out toengage in some banter with Moscow’s Enemy No 1, President MikheilSaakashvili. I hope she didn’t tell him how much she loves everything aboutRussia.
These are just the latest in a long line of junkets for Stone. She was one ofthe star guests at the notorious St Petersburg “charity” auctionwhere Vladimir Putin wheeled out his cringe-worthy rendition of “BlueberryHill” last December and, off-camera, sang a duet with the Russian PrimeMinister. When a journalistic investigation uncovered that the children withcancer for whose benefit the concert had been organised hadn’t received akopeck, the organiser (an old friend of Putin) said that actually, the wholepoint was to “raise awareness” rather than to raise any actualmoney.
In March, Stone was rather oddly called on to co-compere Mikhail Gorbachev’s80th birthday bash at the Royal Albert Hall, with Kevin Spacey. She rattledoff a few platitudes about freedom, made some terrible puns, and engaged inbizarre and inappropriate scripted faux-flirting with Spacey. I’m sure thatwith a bit of imagination, the organisers could have found someone a littlemore sincere, and with a little more genuine connection to the events oflate 1980s Russia, to host Gorby’s big day. And they might not even have hadto pay.
Read the whole article here.