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Maria felt "done" by Marlon Brando

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Friday, July 20, 2007
Yesteryears actress Maria Schneider has revealed that shooting a scandalous sex scene opposite Marlon Brando in the film 'Last Tango In Paris' left her feeling as if she had been 'raped' by the legendary actor.

The 1972 film, directed by legendary filmmaker Bernardo Bertolucci, is a love story of an aged man and a soon-to-be married young woman and is infamous for its controversial sex scenes.

The French star wasn't happy about the scene, in which the Godfather star applies butter on her nether regions to perform a sex act on her, that was later included in the film upon Brando's suggestion.

"That scene wasn't in the original script. The truth is it was Marlon who came up with the idea. 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," the Daily Mail quoted her, as saying.

Schneider said that she felt 'humiliated', and raped by both her co-star and her director.

"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 apologise. Thankfully, there was just one take," she said.

However, despite the lusty relationship that the two actors portrayed in the film, Schneider reminded Brando of his daughter.

"Marlon said to me: 'You look just like Cheyenne (his daughter, who subsequently committed suicide in 1995) with your baby face," she added.

The actress, who was only 19 when she made the film, also revealed that though she shot to fame after it, the film took a toll on her personal life. The French star wasn't primed for the success and popularity and soon after it, she moved on a path of self-destruction that included loads of romantic complications, suicide attempts and drug addiction.

"I felt very sad because I was treated like a sex symbol - I wanted to be recognised as an actress and the whole scandal and aftermath of the film turned me a little crazy and I had a breakdown," she said. "To be suddenly famous all over the world was frightening. I didn't have bodyguards like they do today. People thought I was just like my character and I would make up stories for the press, but that wasn't me," she added.

"The success made me go mad. I got into drugs - pot and then cocaine, LSD and heroin - it was like an escape from reality. It was the Seventies and at that time, it was all going on. I didn't enjoy being famous at all and drugs were my escape. I took pills to try and commit suicide but I survived because God decided it wasn't the time for me to go. I suppose it was like a suicide when I overdosed two or three times on drugs, but each time I woke up when the ambulance arrived," she said.

The baby-faced actress added that though she has several films to her credit, the iconic movie is the only one everyone asks her about. "It's amazing. I've made 50 films in my career and Last Tango is 35 years old, but it's still the one that everyone asks me about," she said. The film that won two Oscar nominations for Brando and Bertolucci is being re-released to commemorate its 35th anniversary.

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