MARIA SCHNEIDER, French actress, born; The talented actress, who claims to be the illegitimate daughter of French star Daniel Gelin, played opposite Marlon Brando, as it were, in Last Tango in Paris. For several days in 1975 there was a great deal of heavy breathing in tabloids all over the world when Schneider, declaring the “right to be insane,” checked into a Rome mental hospital so she could be near her committed lover, American heiress, Patty Townsend. Then the tumult died down. And her name started to disappear from most of the standard reference books. Isn’t that strange?
Recently Schneider revealed that the famous “butter scene” in Last Tango was, in fact, a sexual assault and that she had been unaware of the plans between Brando and Bertolucci.
The scene in question is the most famous from the film; Brando’s character anally penetrates Maria Schneider’s, using butter as a lubricant. In the recently unearthed 2013 interview, Bertolucci said, “It was in the script that he had to rape her in a way,” but the idea to use butter came up while Brando and Bertolucci were eating breakfast. “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. I wanted her to react humiliated.”