Bernardo Bertolucci Admits ‘Last Tango In Paris’ Rape Scene Was Nonconsensual, And Now People Finally Believe Maria Schneider

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The 1972 drama Last Tango In Paris’ infamous rape scene was not consensual, director Bernardo Bertolucci admitted in a recently surfaced video from 2013.

In the video, spotted by ELLE.com, Bertolucci admits that the infamous scene in which actress Maria Schneider’s character is raped with a stick of butter was not consensual. In the video, Bertolucci says that he and Marlon Brando, who was 48 while filming, came up with the idea for the scene and decided not to tell Schneider, who was 19.


Bertolucci says he didn’t tell Schneider about the scene because he "wanted her reaction as a girl, not as an actress.”

He continues, "I wanted her to react humiliated. I think she hated me and also Marlon because we didn't tell her."

Bertolucci says that he feels guilty but doesn't regret the decision: "To obtain something I think you have to be completely free. I didn't want Maria to act on her humiliation with rage, I wanted her to feel...the rage and humiliation. Then she hated me for all of her life."

After Last Tango In Paris, Schneider refused to shoot another nude scene. She struggled with depression and addiction throughout the rest of her life, until her death at age 58 in 2011.

What’s most disturbing to me is that Schneider had spoken about the trauma of filming Last Tango In Paris, but nobody took her seriously until Bertolucci admitted it himself.

In an interview with the Daily Mail in 2007, Schneider said, “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 apologize. Thankfully, there was just one take."

It shouldn’t have to be said, but:


When a woman tells you she has been raped, you should BELIEVE HER.

Also, LET’S STOP CELEBRATING RAPISTS. Nobody should ever work with Bertolucci ever again, or invite him to speak at an event, or give him an award. The same goes for Woody Allen and Roman Polanski and every other celebrity who has admitted to raping or assaulting a woman and has seen absolutely no negative effect on his career.

Several actors and directors spoke out about the video on Twitter:

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Anna Kendrick hit the nail on the head with her tweets:

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It’s terrible that Schneider is only being listened to now, 5 years after her death.




Photos: Last Tango In Paris, Twitter

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Erika W. Smith is BUST's digital editorial director. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @erikawynn and email her at erikawsmith@bust.com.

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