‘Doing a Sharon Stone’ is not necessarily the best way to revive a flagging career,
If the star of your celebrity has faded to a crepuscular glow, your best option is to do something that will make the public see you in a completely new light.
This is the advice that two Hollywood agents have recently given their clients, though the reinvention has taken dramatically different guises.
Broadway song-and-dance gal Deborah Gibson is about to bare all for a spread in the March issue of Playboy, due to hit newsstands on February 11. And actress Sharon Stone heads for Davos to address world leaders on the Aids pandemic.
Deborah Gibson burst onto the music scene in the late 1980s as teen pop princess Debbie Gibson. She had a massive global hit with her first single Only In My Dreams but once she was a 20-something rather than a fresh-faced adolescent, the hype receded.
Call it Billie Piper syndrome. She scored a couple of decent musical roles on Broadway but more recently has been appearing in university theatres on the west coast.
Now 34, she is attempting to revive her pop career or in the words of her official publicist: “Embarking on the second phase of her hugely successful pop career”.
The new single is called “Naked”, hence the taking-it-all-off-for-Playboy move.
Will it work? Not unless there is already interest simmering. It worked for Courtney Love and Farrah Fawcett but they were the objects of considerable prurience at the time. But Deborah Gibson’s 30-something body – who cares?
Ms Stone was keen from early in her career to promote her intellectual clout: citing her university writing scholarship and membership of Mensa.
The trouble was that after the memorable baring of her shaved crotch as man-eating Catherine Tramell in Basic Instinct, “doing a Sharon Stone” meant exposing your pudendum rather than decoding a cipher.
She was stuck with playing sexy and vampish roles, and despite an Oscar nomination for Casino she never acquired gravitas as an actress.
She entered her forties without being offered the meaty roles that consolidated the careers of Meryl Streep and Susan Sarandon.
Instead she threw herself into supporting breast cancer research and promoting gay rights. Addressing the World Economic Forum in Davos she will have the attention of the world’s media focused directly on her.
It’s the ultimate opportunity to be taken seriously and redefine “doing a Sharon Stone”.
Advice to Ms Gibson: become a United Nations ambassador and then take your clothes off for Playboy.