Last Tango in Paris rape scene revelation sparks outrage in Hollywood

Last Tango in ParisThe Oscar-nominated Last Tango in Paris is making headlines over 40 years after its release.

A 2013 video interview in which the film’s director, Bernardo Bertolucci, admits that a particularly controversial scene was staged without actress Maria Schneider’s consent, has surfaced and prompted an uproar.

The scene at the center of discussion is the infamous butter rape scene, which depicts Paul (Marlon Brando) sexually assaulting a much younger woman named Jeanne (Maria) using a stick of butter as lubricant. At the time of shooting, Marlon was 48 and Maria was 19.

In the recently unearthed interview, Bernardo says that neither he nor Marlon told Maria that they planned to use a stick of butter during the scene. They devised the idea the morning of the shoot and chose not to inform her because, as Bernardo reveals, he wanted Maria to react “as a girl, not as an actress.” He wanted her to feel “the rage and humiliation.”

Maria, now deceased after a lengthy battle with cancer, addressed the brutal scene on several occasions, even admitting in a 2007 Daily Mail interview that she “felt a little raped” by both Bernardo and Marlon.

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.”

Maria added, “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… After the scene, Marlon didn’t console me or apologize. Thankfully, there was just one take.”

The video footage in which Bernardo confesses to springing elements of the scene on newcomer Maria is from a Q&A with the Italian filmmaker at Cinémathèque Française in Paris.

Since the video went viral this past weekend, Bernardo’s questionable tactic has been scrutinized by several Hollywood stars.

Upon learning of the news, Jessica Chastain said that she feels “sick,” Evan Rachel Wood said it’s “heartbreaking and outrageous,” Ava DuVernay calls it “inexcusable,” and Chris Evans and Anna Kendrick have tweeted back and forth at each other about their disgust over the scene.

Check out the tweets in full below.

What do you make of this revelation? Let us know. ~Matthew Pariselli 

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Comments & Discussion

  1. CDubya • December 5, 2016 @ 11:52 AM

    Whoa. This is brutal. Let her ACT! She was an actress afterall! Don’t feel this is acceptable for ‘reaslism’. I’m sure she would have done just as good a job if she’d had known about it before hand and then ACTED out the scene instead of surprising her with it.

  2. Samantha • December 21, 2016 @ 10:31 PM

    I don’t get it. She knew it was a rape scene but didn’t know they would use butter? Or she didn’t know there was a rape scene and they just added it? Either way, I’m not surprised that men in Hollywood think they can do anything they want to women. They’ve been doing it for years.

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