Rita Moreno Talks ‘West Side Story,’ Original Film’s Dark Makeup

Rita Moreno mentioned her shock at being instructed to put on darkish make-up within the 1961 “West Side Story” movie in a current interview.

Rita Moreno was one of many stars of 1961’s “West Side Story” film, however Steven Spielberg needed to persuade her to return for the director’s upcoming movie adaptation of the Broadway musical.
“I virtually moist my knickers. I couldn’t consider this was Steven Spielberg on the cellphone, whom I so admired,” Moreno instructed USA Today in an interview revealed on Saturday. “But then I had the braveness to say, ‘I don’t assume I may do a cameo. I feel it will be a extreme disservice to this film — it’d be a distraction’. And he stated, ‘No, no, no. This is an actual half. Tony Kushner wrote this half for you.’”
Moreno will play a supporting character in Spielberg’s “West Side Story,” which is able to premiere on December 10 and stars Ansel Elgort and Rachel Zegler, with Ariana DeBose, David Alvarez, Mike Faist, Josh Andrés Rivera, Ana Isabelle, Corey Stoll and Brian d’Arcy James. Moreno additionally starred within the unique 1961 movie, which was directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins. She recalled her shock at being instructed to put on darkish make-up within the 1961 movie and famous that that movie’s use of make-up, which solely included one coloration for Hispanics, offended some viewers.

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“I keep in mind saying to my make-up man as soon as on the unique ‘West Side Story,’ ‘Why do I’ve to put on such darkish make-up? I’m not that coloration,’” Moreno instructed USA Today. “And he actually stated to me, ‘What, are you a racist?’ He actually stated that and I used to be so astonished that I shut up, as a result of I didn’t know what to say to that. If I stated, ‘No, I’m not a racist,’ I really feel he wouldn’t consider me, so I let it drop. But it was surprising.”
Moreno added that Spielberg and Kushner, who wrote the screenplay for the upcoming movie, corrected the racially insensitive points and stated that each Hispanic character within the new movie is performed by a Hispanic actor.
Spielberg’s “West Side Story” will mark one in every of Moreno’s few performing credit in recent times; she not too long ago appeared within the “Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It” documentary, which premiered at Sundance earlier within the yr, and beforehand starred in 2014 movies “Rio 2” and “Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks.”
Moreno’s full interview with USA Today may be learn right here.

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