When Rita Moreno gained an Oscar in 1962 for “Greatest Supporting Actress” as Anita in “West Facet Story,” she thought her profession would proceed to shortly flourish in Hollywood — she was improper.
“Who might think about that even after I gained the Oscar, those that might make use of me would proceed to forged me as a Spanish spitfire,” the 86-year-old informed AARP the Journal for his or her cowl story.
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“West Facet Story,” based mostly on the favored Broadway musical, informed the story of two children from rival New York Metropolis gangs who fall in love. Nevertheless, tensions between their pals would result in tragedy. It starred Natalie Wooden, George Chakiris and Richard Beymer, amongst others.
The Puerto Rico-born Moreno was a pure match for the Puerto Rican immigrant position. Nevertheless, she initially thought the movie would lead to extra work enjoying varied sorts of characters from completely different backgrounds — it didn’t.
“I used to be nonetheless solely provided these dusty maiden roles,” she recalled. “I made a decision that I’d by no means do a type of roles once more: ‘Ha, ha, I’ll present them!’ However they confirmed me — I didn’t do a movie for seven years after ‘West Facet Story.’ It broke my coronary heart. I couldn’t perceive it. I nonetheless don’t perceive. And there you have got it, Hollywood’s mindset on the time.”
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Nevertheless, this setback didn’t cease Moreno from pursuing performing in Hollywood. She is now one in every of simply 12 individuals to carry an EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony).
And she or he’s nonetheless holding busy. Moreno is at present filming the third season of Netflix’s comedy, “One Day at a Time,” a reboot based mostly on Norman Lear’s authentic sitcom.
However the massive display star insisted the battle to attain compelling roles continues to be on.
“We [Latinos] are vastly underrepresented,” she defined. “Not solely us; when was the final time you noticed an Asian in a significant position? I’m grateful for the instance of the black group, who’ve discovered to raised navigate the system and make it extra inclusive.”
Nonetheless, Moreno is grateful for her time on “West Facet Story,” a movie that also resonates with followers.
“Wherever I’m going, individuals nonetheless name out to me in a Puerto Rican accent, ‘I wish to be in America,’” she stated.
Again in 2016, Moreno additionally informed Fox Information the aftermath of the movie “broke her coronary heart.”
“I didn’t do one other movie after that for seven years,” she confused. “Not as a result of I wasn’t provided some, however as a result of I used to be provided the identical roles on a a lot decrease scale. You recognize, gang films and stuff like that. No, no, no. That’s it. I’m not doing one thing like that once more anymore, or you realize, the stereotypical girl with the thick accent. Aside from this position in ‘One Day at a Time’ as a result of it’s so splendidly written.
“Appearing in Hollywood, even with the awards and accolades, is a really robust career. Particularly for ladies of colour. We, the Hispanic group, now have a fairly good presence on tv, however that doesn’t give us the roles. And I’m not for one second diminishing the significance of getting a presence. However now it’s time for us to get the roles, the writers and the administrators. And that’s going to take longer.”
Moreno continues to be glad about her beloved Oscar, in addition to her relationship with co-star Chakiris, now 83. She stated the pair have remained shut over time.
Chakiris performed Moreno’s boyfriend within the movie.
“He’s one in every of my dearest pals!” she exclaimed. “He’s my daughter’s godfather. I’ve an image of George holding this stunning child woman. He’s nonetheless so rattling good-looking, it’s disgusting. He nonetheless goes to ballet class, that son of a b—-. I can’t try this. My knees are too shot. However we do have good genes, that’s for positive.”