You and Me – Bernardo Bertolucci — Bernardo Bertolucci – HFPA_85 –Bernardo Bertolucci in Rome, Italy. Photo: Magnus Sundholm for the HFPA:
  • Golden Globe Awards

Oral History: Bernardo Bertolucci on Brando and “Last Tango”

or over 40 years the HFPA has recorded famous and celebrated actresses, actors and filmmakers. The world’s largest collection of its kind – over 10,000  items – is now in the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences Margaret Herrick Library. In 2012, mas filmmaker and Golden Globe winner (and multiple nominee) Bernardo Bertolucci gave the HFPA its last press conference, in Rome, at the time of the release of what would be his last film, Me and You. In this excerpt, he recalls how he got Marlon Brando for Last Tango in Paris.“It’s difficult to talk about  Marlon because he’s a mountain of magic. I never had in front of my camera somebody as powerful, as fatally tragic. I went to see him. I was telling him two minutes every day in very bad  English the story of Last Tango In Paris which was no story more or less. I felt immediately that this man doesn’t want to know anything.  Why you look on the floor?, you don’t look in my eyes. That afternoon there was a screening of my The Conformist that he asked me to see with him. I went to this little screening room in the Avenue Georges V and I was sitting in the back and I was alone in the movie (theater). He comes to me and says okay, I want you to come for a month to L.A. to discuss the script. So I went to L.A. and I was going every day to his house on Mulholland Drive but we never talked about the film. We spent a month together talking about everything in the world but not the film. Then he came to Paris a week before the shoot and I took him to see Francis Bacon’s great exhibition at the Grand Palais, to show Marlon the portraits of Francis Bacon’s despair, his tortured flesh. He didn’t know Bacon. He was impressed. No problems during the shoot.”