Twenty-five years ago, Ms Stone – under director Paul Verhoeven – played a glamorous novelist who was handy with an ice pick. What goes around comes around… her latest role is that of Olivia Lake, a lonely children’s writer and murder victim. This whodunnit marks her big comeback as an actress. For us, it’s an opportunity to find out how she relates to time, and what owning a watch means to her…
Television has always been part of my life. I grew up in the middle of Amish Country, in a town called Meadville, Pennsylvania. A place so small there was only one traffic light. My father was a tool and die maker, my mother stayed at home. We had a quiet family life; we didn’t make waves. My sister and I used to watch the Saturday night film noir on TV. There were a lot fewer channels back then. It drove my father mad to see us stuck in front of the TV. He’d tell us to “go outside and get the stink blown off you”!
Yes. I had visions of shopping on Place Vendôme. It’s such a magical place. I actually went there the first time for a modelling assignment. Between shoots I’d go window shopping and hope that one day I’d be able to buy myself this necklace or that watch.
To be honest, it was a very selfish desire. Something you’d buy for yourself to mark an occasion. Something lasting. Whenever I look at my watch I think, “Wow, what a beautiful object and what a lot of work!” It’s a miracle they manage to fit all those mechanisms into such a small space.
I’ve always been attracted to clean lines, whether it’s a skirt, a painting, a building, a piece of jewellery or a watch. It shows in the way I dress. It’s always minimalist. You’ll rarely see me in ruffles and bows. The same goes for watches. I look for simplicity in a watch because I know it will never go out of style. That it will stand the test of time. Less is more, that’s my motto. Having said that, I’ve nothing against a couple of diamonds on the dial! [laughs]
Absolutely. I remember going out and buying some Moroccan cushions. They were gorgeous, or they were until I realised one of them was coming unstitched. I went back to the maker and asked him what was going on. He told me, “Madam, the weavers do it deliberately, to remind us that only God is perfect.” I honestly didn’t know what to reply. But I admit it, I’m obsessed with perfection.
Especially watches! A watch’s job is to tell you the time, and if there’s one thing I hate, it’s being late. A watch is an accessory that must never let you down. Whatever the situation, it has to be reliable and do the job. If it doesn’t provide that basic function, it becomes totally meaningless.
It’s true. I feel that I actually died. There was this giant vortex of light on me, then I took off into this glorious white light. But it was all very fast. Suddenly I was back in my body.
I had to learn to read and write again. I developed a stutter, so I also had to learn to speak again. I couldn’t tell the time. For almost three years, I couldn’t even write my name. Now my vision has come back and I’ve recovered stability in my hips. You know what: I’m just really happy to have reached 60 and lucky to be alive. Having a stroke and a brain bleed that lasts nine days changes you for ever. I’m thrilled I’ve got my career back on track. You have to remember that doctors gave me a 5% chance of survival. The great thing is that I’ve been able to recover my physical and mental faculties, even though it took me three years. As always, time is a great healer.