“Last Tango in Paris” Director Admits to Shooting Non-Consensual Rape Scene
According to Elle Magazine, “Last Tango in Paris” director Bernardo Bertolucci recently admitted in a video that that he and Marlon Brando did not receive sexual consent from the film’s actress upon filming a rape scene. In the scene, Brando’s character rapes actress Maria Schneider with a stick of butter. Bertolucci claims he did not tell the actress, who was 19 at the time of filming, about the scene because he "wanted her reaction as a girl, not as an actress."
"The sequence of the butter is an idea that I had with Marlon in the morning before shooting," Bertulocci said in an event held at La Cinémathèque Française in Paris in 2013, according to Elle. He also stated that he felt horrible "in a way" for his treatment of Schneider. He concluded by defending himself, explaining that he "wanted her reaction as a girl, not as an actress."
"I wanted her to react humiliated," Bertolucci stated. "I think she hated me and Marlon because we didn't tell her." After stating that, Bertolucci did not explain or show any regret of directing the scene.
"To obtain something I think you have to be completely free," he said. "I didn't want Maria to act her humiliation or her rage, I wanted her to Maria to feel...the rage and humiliation. Then she hated me for all of her life."
After “Last Tango in Paris,” Schneider never shot another nude scene. The actress struggled with drug addiction and depression following the controversy the movie brought her. According to the Daily Mail, Schneider sent a statement about her experience in the infamous sex scene.
"I felt humiliated and to be honest, I felt a little raped, both by Marlon and by Bertolucci," she said according to Daily Mail. "After the scene, Marlon didn't console me or [apologize]. Thankfully, there was just one take."
Schneider finished in her statement: "It is not so easy for actresses over 50, and the irony is that when a woman gets old enough to have something interesting to say, people don't want to hear her speak."
Other actors have recently expressed their reactions when hearing of the awful situation.
Actor Chris Evans, known for his role in “The Avengers,” published on his Twitter account: “Wow. I will never look at this film, Bertolucci or Brando the same way again. This is beyond disgusting. I feel rage.”
Actress Anna Kendrick pointed out through social media that no one took Maria Schneider seriously when she first reported the act to the world. “Ms. Schneider stated this several years ago. I used to get eye-rolls when I brought it up to people (aka dudes),” Kendrick wrote through her Twitter account.