by the way, the above was a quote from Penelope Spheeris back in 1999. I thought I added a quotation at the end, but apparently didn’t
In fact, it’s a total coincidence. I was friends with Dominique Sanda. She would make the film with Jean-Louis Trintignant, but she was pregnant. She had a large picture with her of both of us. Bertolucci saw it. He made me do a casting. I read the script, I did not immediately understand. I did not really want to do it and everyone told me: “C’mon, with Brando! …” I resisted until the last moment, because I had to make a film by Valerio Zurlini, with Delon, called The Professor, with the dancer Sonia Petrovna. I regretted my choice since the beginning of my career would have been sweeter, quieter. For Tango, I was not prepared. People have identified with a character that was not me. Butter, about saucy old pigs … I think it’s a film that has aged, style, form and speech. It’s a film typical of the ‘70s, dated, unlike the films of Antonioni, Rossellini, that do not wrinkle. Bertolucci’s very smart, he followed the fashions. Even Marlon with his charisma and class, felt a bit violated, exploited a little in this film. He rejected it for years. And me, I felt it doubly. Marlon was extraordinary, sympathetic with the technicians and generous. Bertolucci, who was a Communist, had the people with him and was working fifteen hours a day. Marlon said: “There they stood, and sandwiches for everyone,” the Hollywood superstar that he was. There was a chemistry between us, a complicity. With other actors, the film would have been very different.
Maria Schneider’s Arthouse: Film List on MUBI