Actress Sharon Stone appears nude in the latest issue of Harper’s Bazaar magazine, in a stunning black and white pictorial shot by celebrity photographer Mark Abrahams. In the accompanying interview the 57 year old actress opens up about the cerebral haemorrhage she suffered in 2001 and how she’s rebuilt her life and career since her health scare.

The actress recalls how she had been feeling unwell three days before she checked herself into hospital in 2001 and then lost consciousness after suffering a stroke. "When I came to, the doctor was leaning over me. I said, 'Am I dying?' And he said, 'You're bleeding into your brain,'" Stone remembers.

”I said, 'I should call my mom,' and he said, 'You're right. You could lose the ability to speak soon.’” The 57 year old was eventually diagnosed with a ruptured vertebral artery, and revealed she had been haemorrhaging so much that her brain had been pushed into the front of her face.

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"It took two years for my body just to absorb all the internal bleeding I had," Stone said. "It almost feels like my entire DNA changed. My brain isn't sitting where it used to, my body type changed, and even my food allergies are different.”

"I became more emotionally intelligent,” the actress added. “I chose to work very hard to open up other parts of my mind. Now I'm stronger. And I can be abrasively direct. That scares people, but I think that's not my problem.”

Speaking about her comeback over the subsequent years Stone said, "I thought, 'You know what? I got thrown off the bullet train, and now I'm going to have to crawl up a hill of broken glass, get back on the train that's going a million miles an hour, and work my way from the cattle car up.”

'That's just the way it is, so I'd better get humble and shut the f--k up and do the job,” she added. “Because if I can't do this job, I'm certainly not going to be able to do anything else.’"

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Turning to the nude photo shoot she did for the magazine Stone joked that she’s aware her ‘ass looks like a bag of flapjacks’. "But I'm not trying to be the best-looking broad in the world. At a certain point you start asking yourself, 'What really is sexy?’"

“It's not just the elevation of your boobs. It's being present and having fun and liking yourself enough to like the person that's with you,” Stone added. “If I believed that sexy was trying to be who I was when I did Basic Instinct, then we'd all be having a hard day today."