Jessica Chastain, Chris Evans and Evan Rachel Wood are disgusted by director Bernardo Bertolucci's admission he staged a brutal rape scene in Last Tango in Paris without teenage actress Maria Schneider's consent.
In a 2007 interview with UK newspaper the Daily Mail, Schneider, who is now deceased after passing away from cancer in 2011, revealed she "felt a little raped" when her co-star Marlon Brando forced himself on her in a controversial scene.
The contentious moment in the 1972 film sees Brando's middle-aged character Paul sexually assault Maria's youthful persona Jeanne using a stick of butter as lubricant.
“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," she recalled. "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. 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.”
And in newly surfaced video footage of a 2013 interview filmmaker Bertolucci gave during a Q&A at La Cinematheque francaise in Paris, the director admits he and Brando conspired together to surprise the rape scene on Schneider, who was only 19 at the time. Bernardo confessed during the talk he and the late actor set up elements of the scene without telling her what they were planning to do.
“We were having, with Marlon, breakfast on the floor of the flat where I was shooting," Bertolucci recounted. "There was a baguette, there was butter and we looked at each other and, without saying anything, we knew what we wanted."
“I had been, in a way, horrible to Maria because I didn’t tell her what was going on,” he added before noting: "(I) wanted her (Schneider's) reaction as a girl, not as an actress. I wanted her to react humiliated.”
Bertolucci's questionable filmmaking tactic has sparked an outcry in Hollywood, with actors Chastain, Evans and Wood all expressing their outrage about it on Twitter on Saturday (03Dec16).
Chastain writes: "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."
"Wow. I will never look at this film, Bertolucci or Brando the same way again. This is beyond disgusting. I feel rage," her colleague Evans writes on his profile, before calling for prosecution: "They should be in jail."
Wood, who recently opened up about her own rape terror in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, agrees with her peers, tweeting: "I second that. This is heartbreaking and outrageous. The 2 of them are very sick individuals to think that was ok."