Rita Moreno has spoken out about Steven Spielberg’s reboot of ‘West Side Story’ and said it is going to be “completely different”.
Rita Moreno has spoken out about the ‘West Side Story’ reboot.
The 86-year-old actress starred as Anita in the film musical back in 1961 – which saw her be the first Hispanic woman to win Best Supporting Actress – and now Steven Spielberg has announced he is working on a new adaptation of the Robert Wise musical.
But Moreno has spoken out about the news of the reboot and said it is a “moot question” whether she would have a cameo.According to Moreno, she, along with the white actors playing Puerto Ricans, like Natalie Wood and George aChakiris , were painted the same color of brown. She remembers expressing to the makeup artist, “My God! Why do we all have to be the same color? Puerto Ricans are French and Spanish…'” She added: “And it’s true, we are very many different colors. We’re Taino, we are Black some of us.”
Actress Rita Moreno accepts the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award onstage during the 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 18, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.
Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, Moreno said: “If it’s going to be a contemporary version, then I would imagine that (the music) has to be rap. And if there is that, what happens to the songs? What are the dances going to look like? Are we not going to have the (‘West Side Story’ choreographer) Jerome Robbins dances? I’m just guessing that it’ll be really, completely different. There are no (older) women in this movie, so it’s a moot question. You hear Maria’s mother calling her – I could do that!”
Moreno also said that it’s important for the reboot to have talented dancers in the upcoming movie.
She said: “I don’t know of any teenagers that sing or dance like beasts. What’s most important, I believe, is the dancing ability; you can always loop in someone else’s voice, but you really can’t fake the dancing.”
The musical – which is a modern day ‘Romeo and Juliet’ – follows two rival New York street gangs who battle for control of the turf.
The situation becomes complicated when a gang member falls in love with a rival’s sister.
‘West Side Story’ won 10 Academy Awards back in 1962 including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography and Best Costume Design.
The musical also features popular songs including ‘I Feel Pretty’, ‘Maria’, ‘Somewhere’ and ‘America’.