“Nouns have become my mortal enemy,” Rita Moreno, who starred in “West Side Story” and “One Day at a Time,” joked earlier this week. “That’s what’s happened, but that’s the worst that’s happened.”
Now eighty-nine, Moreno might have received an Emmy, a Tony, a Grammy, and an Oscar—plus nearly each different honor an entertainer can obtain—however a senior citizen with a fading reminiscence was one function that also appeared like a stretch. In an hour-long dialog with the New Yorker employees author Michael Schulman, Moreno recalled particulars that spanned almost all of her 9 a long time, from her transfer to the Bronx from Puerto Rico as a five-year-old (by ship, in guidance, throughout a storm) to the place she received the costume she wore to simply accept her 1962 Academy Award (on an evening off from capturing a conflict drama within the Philippines, typecast as “yet another sad Pacific Island person”).
Moreno was talking with Schulman as half of The New Yorker Live, a digital occasion sequence held every month completely for subscribers to the journal. As half of their dialog, Moreno revisited her skilled triumphs, in addition to the stereotyping and sexism she confronted in Hollywood. “Anita was the only Hispanic character that I ever played who had a sense of dignity,” Moreno mentioned, referring to the “West Side Story” function for which she received her Oscar.
With her ninetieth birthday on the horizon, Moreno is making ready for the discharge of two movies which may function a form of twin capstone to her profession: Steven Spielberg’s big-screen adaptation of “West Side Story” (she performs a special character this time), and “Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It,” a documentary about her personal life and profession, executive-produced by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Norman Lear. Excerpts screened throughout The New Yorker Live seize Moreno’s ardent activism for Latino rights and racial equality, and impressed her to share with Schulman a reminiscence of being so near Martin Luther King, Jr., in the course of the March on Washington that she may hear some fateful directions he acquired whereas delivering his “I Have a Dream” speech.
In the clip above, you possibly can view highlights of the New Yorker Live dialogue, together with Moreno’s recollections of the skin-darkening make-up she was requested to put on in “West Side Story,” and how she ended up courting Elvis. Subscribers to The New Yorker can watch the full conversation, in addition to all earlier installments of The New Yorker Live, at newyorker.com/live. Check the web page within the weeks forward for particulars about upcoming occasions, and subscribe to achieve entry.
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