Bertolucci wanted to say sorry for 'Last Tango in Paris'

Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci said Thursday he wished he could have apologised to the late Maria Schneider for putting her through graphic sex scenes in his classic 1972 film "Last Tango in Paris". "Her death has come too early, before I could give her a tender embrace and tell her that I was as tied to her as I was at the start and apologise to her at least once," Bertolucci was quoted by the ANSA news agency as saying. "The strong and creative relationship that we had during the filming of 'Last Tango' became poisoned with the passing of time," he said. "Maria accused me of having robbed her of her youth and only today am I wondering whether there wasn't some truth to that," he added. Schneider, who died Thursday aged 58 after a long illness, was just 19 when she made the highly controversial film that catapulted her to global fame. In later interviews she said she had been traumatised by Bertolucci's insistence that she film a particularly graphic anal sex scene with Brando. She battled drug addiction in the 1970s but later revived her career. "The truth is she was too young to withstand the impact of the film's unpredictable and brutal success. Marlon hid behind his impenetrable privacy and the full weight of promotion fell on Maria and myself," Bertolucci said. "Together with the film, she gave American puritanism a shove. At that time, transgression was still possible and Maria could not resist the temptation to live it fully, body and soul, with all her beauty and joy," he added.