Outrage over Last Tango's rape scene shot without actress' consent

LONDON • Hollywood has voiced outrage following newly revealed comments by Last Tango In Paris director Bernardo Bertolucci that the infamous rape scene in the 1972 movie was shot without the consent of lead actress Maria Schneider.

A 2013 video posted online recently showed Bertolucci, now 76, describing how he planned the scene with actor Marlon Brando, then 48, choosing not to inform Schneider, then 19, reported The Guardian and other media.

Bertolucci expressed guilt over it, saying: "I've 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."

He added: "I feel guilty, but I do not regret. You know to make movies is sometimes to obtain something that we have to be completely free. I didn't want Maria to act her humiliation, her rage. I wanted her to feel, not to act the rage and the humiliation."

Jessica Chastain and Chris Evans were among stars expressing disgust last Saturday.

Tweeted Chastain: "You're watching a 19yr old get raped by a 48yr old man. The director planned her attack. I feel sick."

Evans wrote: "I will never look at this film, Bertolucci or Brando the same way again. This is beyond disgusting."

In a 2007 interview, Schneider, who died of cancer in 2011 at age 58, said: "They only told me about it before we had to film the scene and I was so angry.

"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."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 06, 2016, with the headline 'Outrage over Last Tango's rape scene shot without actress' consent'. Print Edition | Subscribe