Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider in Last Tango in Paris.
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Hollywood actors are outraged and disgusted following revelations that the actress in one of the most infamous rape scenes in movie history did not consent to filming the sequence.
In a clip that recently surfaced online, Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci told a Paris audience in 2013 that when filming his 1972 movie Last Tango In Paris he and actor Marlon Brando conspired to ambush actress Maria Schneider by having his character rape hers using a stick of butter.
“[The scene was] an idea that I had with Marlon in the morning before shooting,” Bertolucci said. “But, I mean, in a way horrible to Maria because I didn’t tell her what was going on because I wanted her reaction as a girl, not as an actress.”
“I didn’t want Maria to act her humiliation, her rage. I wanted Maria to feel, not to act, the rage and the humiliation,” he said.
At the time of filming Last Tango In Paris, which tells the story of a widowed American man who begins a sexual relationship with a young French woman, Brando was 48 and Schneider just 19.
Bertolucci said he didn’t regret filming the scene without Schneider’s consent, but admitted to feeling guilty.
“I think that she hated me and also Marlon because we didn’t tell her there was that detail of the butter used as a lubricant, and I feel very guilty for that,” he said.
Bertolucci, Brando, and Schneider on set.
Schneider never again spoke to Bertolucci, he told the Paris audience, and the actress later struggled with drugs and suicide attempts. She died in 2011 from cancer.
“[Bertolucci] was fat and sweaty and very manipulative, both of Marlon and myself, and would do certain things to get a reaction from me,” she told the Daily Mail in 2007.
She told the newspaper that she recalled only being informed of the scene right before it was filmed, but felt pressured to go along.
“That scene wasn’t in the original script. The truth is it was Marlon who came up with the idea,” she said. “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 apologize. Thankfully, there was just one take.
After the clip of Bertolucci went viral in recent days, Hollywood actors Jessica Chastain, Chris Evans, and Evan Rachel Wood, who last week revealed she was a survivor of rape, all condemned the scene.