Actor Eva Green has opened up about working with Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci, who died on Monday after a brief battle with cancer.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Green, who was 22 when she starred in Bertolucci’s “The Dreamers”, said she was “desperate to do the part in his movie” and she had one of her “best experiences” while working on the project.
“We used to go to his house every weekend, and Bernardo would tell us stories about the movies he’s made, about music and art in the 1960s. He was so kind and generous and sort of a father figure,” she said.
“I always called him the Little Buddah. There was something very wise about him, with his very naughty, mischievous but kind eyes. I learned so much from him. He was very open to the unexpected, to the spontaneous,” she added.
The 38-year-old actor said her parents were “worried” about her when she signed the film, particularly because of the controversy around the filmmaker’s 1972 feature “Last Tango in Paris”.
“They thought I would be damaged because there were stories about what happened to Maria Schneider on The Last Tango. But I met Bernardo for a few screen tests and I liked his vibe,” Green said.
Schneider, who died in 2011, alleged that she was never consulted regarding a rape scene, which she shot with Marlon Brando. The filmmaker had attracted controversy years later after admitting that the graphic nature of the scene in the erotic drama was improvised on set.
Green said she does not want to undermine “Schneider’s experience” but to her, Bertolucci came across as a “gentleman”.
“… As for my own experience, he was always a gentleman. Very respectful. He knew how nervous I was about the sex scenes but he never pushed me. He just let us do things. There was never anything odd. There are so many worse directors he was just a wonderful person and maestro,” she added.