The Last Tango in Paris was an 1972 erotic drama starring a 48-year-old Marlon Brando and 19-year-old Maria Schneider, which caused controversy for its explicit portrayal of an anonymous sexual relationship.
An interview with director Bernardo Bertolucci in 2013 recently resurfaced online, in which he admits that the infamous butter scene, depicting a young Schneider and Brando in a controversial rape scene, was engineered without her consent.
Actors have recently taken to Twitter to air their disgust at the scene following a tweet by Jessica Chastain:
Evan Rachel Wood
Director Ava DuVernay
The scene was simulated: there was no sex actually involved in filming.
In an interview with the Daily Mail in 2011, when asked if the sex was real, Schneider responded with "not at all".
An excerpt of the 2013 Bertolucci interview confirmed that the butter, which was used to portray lubricant, was the unscripted part of the scene.
The sequence of the butter is an idea that I had with Marlon in the morning before shooting it but I been 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.
She felt humiliated and I think she hated me and Marlon because we didn’t tell her there was that detail of the butter used as a lubricant.
I feel very guilty for that.
Bertolucci did not regret keeping the scene from her.
I didn’t want to act her humiliation – her rage – I wanted Maria to feel, not to act the rage and humility.
Then she hated me her whole life.
Many people on Twitter say that Schneider did not consent to the butter in the sex act; she was touched in a sexual manner without her consent, constituting a form of rape or sexual assault.
Schneider did feel angry, and said she had felt "humiliated and to be honest... a little raped, both by Marlon and by Bertolucci".
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.