Maria Schneider (actress)
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Schneider performed numerous full-frontal nude scenes in Last Tango in Paris, which were controversial at the time. On a television interview in 2007 with the Daily Mail, Schneider described Last Tango in Paris director Bernardo Bertolucci as "fat and sweaty and very manipulative, both of Marlon and myself, and he did certain things to get her reaction." As for her working relationship with Brando, she says that, while their relationship on the set was paternal, it was Brando who came up with the 'butter scene' and it was only known to her just before filming it:
"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. 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 and Brando remained friends until his death, although they did not speak of the movie "for a while."
She also says that her experience with the film — and her treatment as a sex symbol rather than as a serious actress — motivated her to never do films with nude scenes again.
Schneider was born Marie Christine Gélin, the daughter of French actor Daniel Gélin and Romanian-born Marie-Christine Schneider, who ran a bookstore in Paris. In 1974, Schneider came out as bisexual. In early 1976, she abandoned the film set of Caligula and checked herself into a mental hospital in Rome for several days with a woman she described as her lover. This, coupled with her refusal to do nudity, led to Schneider's dismissal and she was replaced by Teresa Ann Savoy.
"I was very lucky — I lost many friends to drugs — but I met someone in 1980 who helped me stop. I call this person my angel and we've been together ever since. I don't say if it's a man or a woman. That's my secret garden. I like to keep it a mystery."
- Les Femmes, 1969
- La Vieille fille, 1971
- Hellé, 1971
- Cari genitori (Dear Parents), 1972
- Last Tango in Paris, 1972
- Reigen (Dance of Love), 1973
- Jeune fille libre le soir (The Babysitter), 1975
- Professione: reporter (The Passenger), 1975
- Violanta, 1977
- Io sono mia (I Belong to Me), 1978
- Haine (Hate), 1979
- La Dérobade (Memoirs of a French Whore), 1979
- Een Vrouw als Eva (A Woman Like Eve), 1979
- Weiße Reise (White Travel), 1980
- Mamma Dracula (Mother Dracula), 1980
- Sezona mira u Parizu, 1981
- Merry-Go-Round, 1981
- Cercasi Gesù, 1982
- Balles perdues (Stray Bullets), 1982
- Résidence surveillée, 1987
- Bunker Palace Hôtel, 1989
- Écrans de sable (Sand Screens), 1992
- Au pays des Juliets (In the Country of Juliets), 1992
- Savage Nights (Les Nuits fauves), 1992
- Jane Eyre, 1996
- Something to Believe In, 1998
- Les Acteurs (Actors), 2000