Director Bernardo Bertolucci, in an old interview that has recently surfaced, has admitted that actress Maria Schneider did not give her consent to film a rape scene with co-star Marlon Brando in sexually explicit 1972 film Last Tango in Paris. Hollywood celebs like Jessica Chastain and Chris Evans have reacted strongly on Twitter and slammed both director and actor for filming the scene. Mr Brando was then 48 and Ms Schneider, 19. It became one of the most infamous rape scenes in Hollywood history. Zero Dark Thirty actress Jessica Chastain said, “I feel sick” while Captain America star Chris Evans said: “I will never look at this film, Bertolucci or Brando the same way again. This is beyond disgusting. I feel rage.”
Mr Bertolucci gave the now viral interview at an event held at La Cinematheque Francaise in Paris in 2013. The director said that he and Mr Brando came up with the idea in the morning before the shoot and because he wanted to capture Ms Schneider’s reaction “as a girl and not as an actress,” they hid the truth from her. “The sequence of the butter is an idea that I had with Marlon in the morning before shooting. I think she hated me and also Marlon because we didn’t tell her. I wanted her to react humiliated. To obtain something I think you have to be completely free. I didn’t want Maria to act her humiliation, her rage, I wanted her to feel the rage and humiliation. Then she hated me for all of her life.”
Maria Schneider told Daily Mail in an interview in 2007, “I felt a little raped, both by Marlon and by Bertolucci.”
“That scene wasn’t in the original script. The truth is it was Marlon who came up with the idea. They only told me about it before we had to film the scene and I was so angry. I should have called my agent or had my lawyer come to the set because you can’t force someone to do something that isn’t in the script, but at the time, I didn’t know that. Marlon said to me: ‘Maria, don’t worry, it’s just a movie,’ but during the scene, even though what Marlon was doing wasn’t real, I was crying real tears. I felt humiliated and to be honest, I felt a little raped, both by Marlon and by Bertolucci. After the scene, Marlon didn’t console me or apologise. Thankfully, there was just one take,” she told Daily Mail.
“I felt very sad because I was treated like a sex symbol – I wanted to be recognised as an actress and the whole scandal and aftermath of the film turned me a little crazy and I had a breakdown,” she added talking about her struggle with drug addiction and depression after the attention the movie brought her.
Marlon Brando died in 2004 while Maria Schneider died in 2011.