Film

Hollywood Reacts With Disgust To Revelations About Non-Consensual Marlon Brando Rape Scene

One of the most disturbing scenes in film history now seems even more so.

This article discusses sexual assault.

Prominent Hollywood figures have reacted with outrage and horror following the reemergence of an interview with acclaimed director Bernardo Bertolucci in which he admits that one of the most infamous rape scenes in film history was shot without the consent of the actress involved.

The scene in question is the notorious butter sequence in Bertolucci’s 1972 film Last Tango in Paris. The violent and upsetting scene sees Paul, played by 48-year-old Marlon Brando, anally rape Jeanne, played by 19-year-old Maria Schneider’s, while using butter as a lubricant.

In the resurfaced interview, which was recorded in 2013, Bertolucci admits that he and Brando came up with the idea for the scene the day they shot it, and that Bertolucci “didn’t tell [Schneider] what was going on, because I wanted to get her reaction as a girl, not as an actress.”

“I didn’t want Maria to act her humiliation, her rage,” said Bertolucci. “I wanted Maria to feel, not to act.”

Since the reappearance of the video, a number of Hollywood actors and filmmakers, including Jessica Chastain, Chris Evans and Selma director Ava DuVernay, have taken to social media to express their disgust.

In response to Evans’ tweet, Anna Kendrick pointed out that Schneider herself had long maintained a similar version of events.

In 2007, Schneider told The Daily Mail that “that scene wasn’t in the original script, and that “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.”

“During the scene, even though what Marlon was doing wasn’t real, I was crying real tears,” she continued. “I felt humiliated and to be honest, I felt a little raped, both by Marlon and by Bertolucci.”

As Kendrick says, it’s fantastic that this story is finally out in the open. The real question is why more people didn’t take it seriously when it was just Schneider who was talking about it.

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.

Men can access anonymous confidential telephone counselling to help to stop using violent and controlling behaviour through the Men’s Referral Service on 1300 766 491.