Hollywood stars have expressed outrage at resurfaced revelations that key details about the infamous “butter” scene in Last Tango In Paris were withheld from the film’s leading lady until the cameras were rolling.
The controversial scene featuring then 19-year-old actress Maria Schneider made headlines again after footage of a 2013 interview with director Bernardo Bertolucci recently began circulating online.
In the clip, the Italian director explains he and leading man Marlon Brando conceived the idea of incorporating butter into the graphic scene “used as a lubricant” the morning before it was scheduled to be shot.
Bernardo said he had been “in a way horrible to Maria” because he did not tell her the full details of their plan in a bid to get “her reaction as a girl, not an actress”.
In an apparent reference to the butter, he said: “I think she hated me and also Marlon because we didn’t tell her that.
“I feel very guilty for that.”
But pressed to explain if he felt regret about how the scene was filmed, Bernardo added: “No. But I feel guilty.”
The clip has reignited controversy among A-listers about the notorious scene and film, with Oscar-nominated actress Jessica Chastain tweeting she felt “sick” after reading about it online.
To all the people that love this film- you're watching a 19yr old get raped by a 48yr old man. The director planned her attack. I feel sick. https://t.co/qVDom2gYf6— Jessica Chastain (@jes_chastain) December 3, 2016
Her sentiments were retweeted by Westworld actress Evan Rachel Wood, who recently penned an open letter about her experiences with sexual assault, with the addition: “This is heartbreaking and outrageous.”
I second that. This is heartbreaking and outrageous. The 2 of them are very sick individuals to think that was ok. https://t.co/Ft4SArjcgd— #EvanRachelWould (@evanrachelwood) December 3, 2016
Girls creator Lena Dunham posted a picture on Instagram of Schneider and her former partner Joan Townsend, writing she was “so sorry that art became pain rather than release for you”.
Captain America star Chris Evans said on Twitter: “This is beyond disgusting. I feel rage,” after reading the latest reports, while Game Of Thrones regular Lena Headey tweeted: “F***ing disgraceful.”
In reply to Chris, actress Anna Kendrick said Maria had spoken about her traumatic experiences on the film years ago.
“I used to get eye-rolls when I brought it up to people (aka dudes),” Anna wrote.
The sentiment was echoed by other Twitter users, with one remarking: “Last Tango In Paris issue becomes far more disturbing when you realise the woman’s claims were resigned to history until the MAN admitted it.”
Maria, who died in 2011, said the scene was not in the original script, during an interview with the Daily Mail in 2007.
She said: “They only told me about it before we had to film the scene and I was so angry.”
Afterwards, she described feeling “humiliated (and) a little raped” by Marlon and Bernardo.
Brando died in July 2004.