The film contains a scene in which Brando’s character anally rapes Schneider’s character using butter as a lubricant.
In a 2006 interview, Schneider said that the scene was not in the script and that “when they told me, I had a burst of anger. Woo! I threw everything. And nobody can force someone to do something not in the script. But I didn’t know that. I was too young”.
In 2007, Schneider recounted feelings of sexual humiliation pertaining to the rape scene:
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. 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.