That Infamous Sex Scene in 'Last Tango in Paris'? Now We Know It Was Non-Consensual

Bernando Bertolucci says he and Marlon Brando conspired to shoot a rape scene without Maria Schneider's agreement.

Hairstyle, Textile, Fur clothing, Fashion, Natural material, Animal product, Black hair, Fur, Fashion model, Model,
(Image credit: Getty Images)

For those of you who haven't seen it, Last Tango in Paris features an extremely graphic rape scene, in which Marlon Brando's character has un-consenting anal sex with Maria Schneider's character—using butter as a lubricant. Now, footage of director Bernardo Bertolucci has surfaced in which he confirms the shooting of the scene itself was non-consensual.

"The sequence of the butter is an idea that I had with Marlon in the morning before shooting it," Bertolucci says in the above interview. "But I'd 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. I wanted her to react [so] she felt humiliated. If it goes on she shot 'no, no!'" "a way" this was horrible? Bertolucci "wanted" her to act humiliated? There are truly no words for how completely horrific and utterly shameful this revelation is.

"I think she hated me and also Marlon," Bertolucci continued. "Because we didn't tell her that there was this, that detail of the butter used as lubricant. I feel very guilty for that. I feel guilty but I do not regret."

Schneider passed away in 2011, but in 2007 she told the Daily Mail she felt as though she was raped. "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," she said. "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."

Meanwhile, Bertolucci had this to say: "To obtain something I think you have to be completely free. I didn't want Maria to act her humiliation her rage, I wanted her to, Maria to feel—not to act—the rage and humiliation. Then she hated me for all of her life."


For confidential and free support about rape or sexual assault, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline 24/7 at 800.656.HOPE. You can also IM anonymously at

Follow Marie Claire on Facebook for the latest celeb news, beauty tips, fascinating reads, livestream video, and more.

Mehera Bonner
Entertainment Editor

Mehera Bonner is a celebrity and entertainment news writer who enjoys Bravo and Antiques Roadshow with equal enthusiasm. She was previously entertainment editor at Marie Claire and has covered pop culture for over a decade.