Entertainment

20 Times Rita Moreno Just Slayed Everyone Around Her

Hollywood legend Rita Moreno is one of just 12 people to “EGOT”, or win an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony award in their lifetime, and the fastest one to do it as an actor, in just 16 years. Rita is an unparalleled star with a career that will go down as iconic for not only Latinas but any performer.

Here are 20 times Rita showed up to life with the energy of a queen and left no one in doubt of her status as a total boss babe.

1. When She Showed up to the Oscars Last Year and Slayed the Red Carpet Dead

Credit: Instagram. @abc7chicago

At 86 years young, the legendary Rita Moreno stopped the show on the Oscars red carpet in this glamorously divine gown. 

2. And Made this Epic Entrance When She was Presenting

Credit: Instagram. @younghollywood

Rita presented the award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2018 Oscars, and when the curtain opened on her… well,  let’s just say she knows how to make an entrance.

3. Not to Mention, This Was the *Same* Dress She Wore to the Oscars in 1962

Credit: Instagram @leonardmatlin

Talk about upcycling. Queen Rita wore the same gorgeous gown to the Oscars 56 years ago. The dress was made in the Philippines and altered to be strapless for a modern twist.

4. Where She Won the Award for Best Supporting Actress

Credit: 1962 West Side Story. Digital Image. CNN.

Of course, Rita took home the Oscar that night in 1962, giving a famously short, 15-second acceptance speech. Why? She never expected to win!

5. She Won For Her Iconic Role as Anita in West Side Story

Credit: Instagram. @americandacha

West Side Story, the musical based on Romeo and Juliet and set in Manhattan, made waves and stole hearts, not least because of Rita’s show-stopping performance as Anita.

6. And Became America’s First Latina Sweetheart

Credit: Rita Moreno. Digital Image. Life Magazine.

Rita was the first Latina to appear on the cover of Life magazine with a photo shoot that made her a household name. 

7. But She Used her Fame to Fight for Justice

Credit: March on Washington. Digital Image. CNN.

She marched alongside Sammy Davis Jr. in the 1963 March on Washington. Rita stood shoulder to shoulder with other POC for racial equality in America.

8. And She Still Does

Credit: Instagram. @idstory

After Hurricane Maria devastated Rita’s homeland of Puerto Rico last year, Rita joined the effort to bring awareness and aid to the island, alongside actor and advocate Lin Manuel Miranda.

9. Because Age is Just a Number

Credit: Instagram. @svati.3

Time and time again, Rita has made it clear that she still has work to do, things to say, and isn’t going anywhere. 

10. And She’s Still Slaying All Day

Credit:  Rita Moreno Barack Obama. Digital Image. CNN.

Rita received the National Medal of Arts from President Obama in 2009. 

11. She Still Makes Time for Fun

Credit: Instagram. @itsmeevans

Never one to take herself too seriously, Rita appeared on $100,000 pyramid recently with the cast mates of her new show. 

12. As She Always Has

Credit:  Rita Moreno. Digital Image. CNN.

When Rita was immortalized on the Hollywood walk of fame, she famously fell to the ground over her star for a silly photo shoot. 

13. And Even When She’s Joking Around

Credit: Instagram @theritamoreno

Rita poses in a totally comfortable, natural reading position.

14. She Still Rec-og-niz-es How Boss She Is

Credit: Instagram @theritamoreno

Half a decade later, Rita still knows she was hot stuff and doesn’t need anyone to tell her twice. “Damn don’t I look good?” Si Si!

15. Today Rita is Starring in “One Day At A Time”

Credit: Instagram. @thurkood

The reboot of a classic sitcom features a Cuban-American family, with Rita as the matriarch, and her army veteran daughter, played by Justina Machado.

16. The Runaway Netflix  Hit

Credit: Instagram. @odaatnetflix

Rita teaching (or possibly goofing around with) a young costar on set.

17. Where She’s Redefining the Role of an Abuela on TV

Credit: Instagram. @odaatnetflix

Rita took the role of Lydia under one condition: that her 77-year-old character could “still be sexual”. Can I get a yaaaasss for sex positivity??

18. With Her Signature Humor and Grace

Credit: Instagram. @odaatnetflix

Lydia is the comic relief in a heartwarming and often emotional show.

19. And of Course…

Credit:  Instagram. @odaatnetflix

Just another classic Rita moment.

20. She’s Still Slaying All Day.

Credit: Instagram. @odaatnetflix

One more time for the people in the back: #yaaassqueen


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20 Times Rita Moreno Was A Queen We Don’t Deserve

Entertainment

20 Times Rita Moreno Was A Queen We Don’t Deserve

In this scary and confusing life, there are only a few things we know for sure. One of these things is that Puerto-Rican born legendary actress Rita Moreno is a national treasure who continues to give us life in the year of our Lord two-thousand and nineteen.

We need no excuse to celebrate the incredible Rita Moreno, and because we love her so much, we’ve compiled a list of 20 times (out of many) that Moreno was the queen we don’t deserve. Long live the queen!

1.When she gave Trump the middle finger on national television

Jimmy Kimmel Live via Youtube

Recently, Moreno The Queen herself paid a visit to Jimmy Kimmel live and recounted the story of the first time she met Donald Trump. When finishing up the story, she playfully told President Trump, “I’ve got a finger for ya,” and flipped off the camera. She definitely hasn’t lost her spunk!

2. When she insisted her character on “One Day At a Time” Be Written As a Sexual Being

@netflix/Twitter

When talking about her latest role as abuelita Lydia Riera in Netflix’s “One Day at a Time”, Moreno revealed: “[B]efore there was even a script, I said [to the writers]: I’d like her to be sexual. Because you don’t see that. Once people turn a certain age, that gets completely ignored by writers, and it’s a shame”.

3. When she guest-starred on Jane the Virgin

Tumblr via janethevirgin-gifs

Fans of “Jane the Virgin” were delighted when it was announced that Moreno was cast as Rogelia de La Vega’s controlling stage mother, Liliana de La Vega. As for her performance, she didn’t disappoint: Moreno served up enough outrageous diva moments to keep us rolling on the floor.

4. When She Won an Oscar…

@hc_amherst/Instagram

The award that started it all! Latinas everywhere felt truly recognized when Moreno won the (much-deserved) Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her incredible work as Anita in “West Side Story.”

5. …When She Won a Grammy…

User shamusmcginty via Reddit

Moreno continued her awards streak by winning a Grammy Award in 1972 for Best Children’s Album. The album was compilation of the songs from the hit children’s show, “The Electric Company”.

6. …When She Won a Tony…

Warner Archive Instant via Youtube

Moreno continued to be the Latina Queen we don’t deserve by winning a Tony Award in 1975 for Best Lead Actress in a play for the Broadway production of “The Ritz”.

7. …And When She Won an Emmy

Television Academy via Youtube

When she won an Emmy for hilarious work on “The Muppet Show” in 1977, the pure shock on Moreno’s face was probably due to the fact that she realized she was now cemented in the canon of history. It was the final award she needed to officially become “EGOT” status.

8. When she re-wore the gown she wore to the 1962 Oscars in 2018

@oscars/Twitter

In 2018, Moreno was kind enough to re-wear the original dress she wore to the Oscars in 1962—the year she took home the Gold Statue. She arguably worked that dress better at 86 than she did when she was a young ingenue.

9. When she blessed us with that whole performance in “West Side Story”

Tumblr via user nataliedormers

Think about it: Moreno didn’t have to go that hard for us. But, she did. She did.

10. When she dissed the problematic roles she was forced to play in her early career

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Before she had enough industry clout to play more nuanced roles, Moreno was only offered parts that she later dubbed “dusky maiden” roles. Notably, she was forced to wear yellow-face in “The King and I” in the role of “Tutpim”–one of the King of Siam’s numerous wives. Later, Moreno had a few choice words to say about this time in her career: “I hated the dark makeup, being barefoot—all of it”.

11. Her controversial 1954 Life magazine cover

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Before she hit the big time, Moreno was chosen as the cover girl for a particularly sexy issue of “Life” magazine where she was also featured in a multi-page spread. The issue got the attention of much of Hollywood, possibly due to the front page headline, which read: “Rita Moreno: An Actress’s Catalog of Sex and Innocence”.

12. When she kept it real in her tell-all memoir

@uiltexas/Twitter

Moreno shocked the public when she revealed intimate details of her passionate affair with legendary actor Marlon Brando in her 2013 autobiography, “Rita Moreno: A Memoir”. Of Brando, Moreno said: “To say that he was a great lover would be gravely understating what he did not only to my body, but for my soul. Every aspect of being with Marlon was thrilling, because he was more engaged in the world than anyone else I’d ever known”.

13. When She Received the Kennedy Center Honors Award

The Kennedy Center via Youtube

If you haven’t yet seen the video of Gina Rodriguez’s heartfelt tribute to Moreno during her Kennedy Center Honors Award ceremony, we highly suggest you take a look. Rodriguez’s tribute is extremely touching, as is Moreno’s emotional response.

14. She constantly keeps it hip

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Never one to lose her sense of humor, Moreno made a hilarious entrance during the ___ commencement ceremony of The Berklee College of Music. We love how she’s not afraid to make fun of herself.

15. When she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom

The U.S. National Archives

In 2004, Moreno received the Presidential Medal of Freedom for “helping shape our nation’s cultural and artistic heritage”. It’s reasons like these why we love Moreno: her career has made us much impact on the broader US culture as it has on America’s Latinx community.

16. When she narrated the audiobook version of Justice Sonya Sotomayor’s memoir

@restingbookface/Instagram

Justice Sonya Sotomayor personally asked fellow Puerto-Rican Rita Moreno to read the audio version of her memoir, “My Beloved World”. Fitting, considering that Moreno “burst into tears” when she first heard the news that Sotomayor would be the first Latina Supreme Court Justice.

17. When she shared her philosophy on dealing with haters

@identity/Twitter

In a Vulture interview that focused on her “One Day at a Time” success, Moreno dispensed a kernel of precious advice: “You don’t die if someone doesn’t like you…A woman in [group therapy] didn’t like me…and she just spewed utter dislike of me…I found out that you don’t die from being disliked. For me, that’s very important”.

18. When she went makeup-less to film an emotional scene

@latinaswithfacialfuzz/Tumblr

In the same interview, Moreno touched on the only time she’s ever been makeup-less on camera, in a touching scene in “One Day at a Time”. “I was actually very happy to do it,” she explained. “Maybe it’s my age, but I know I look good”. Yaasss Queen!

19. When she shared her philosophy on aging

Tumblr via omgthatdress

“People tell me I look good these days,” Moreno said recently. “I look good because I feel good… It’s all about attitude”. We couldn’t agree more!

20. When she expressed unabashed joy at receiving the SAG-AFTRA Lifetime Achievement Award

Tumblr via User Carlithiel

One of the things we love so much about Moreno, is that she never seems to take her career for granted, and to that end, has never has come off as jaded by her success. A perfect example of this is when she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from SAG-AFTRA and gushed that she was “so bloody happy”. We love you, Rita!

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‘West Side Story’ Casting Does It Right By Giving Us Rachel Zegler As Maria And Afro-Latina Ariana DeBose As Anita

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‘West Side Story’ Casting Does It Right By Giving Us Rachel Zegler As Maria And Afro-Latina Ariana DeBose As Anita

Aspects of “West Side Story” might not have aged well in the almost 60 years since its debut, but there’s no denying the beloved film’s position in the classic movie canon. It’s why, when talks of a “West Side Story” remake by Steven Spielberg began to occur last summer, fans of the original film helmed by directors Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins and starring actresses Natalie Wood and Rita Moreno, fans of the original film proved to be less than thrilled. Reasons for the knee-jerk objections to the remake ran the gamut with many of them stemming from fears that a white director like Spielberg being incapable of properly addressing the problems of the original film which included brownface and a mass of shameful Latino stereotypes. This week, after production for the film, announced the actors for the main cast of the film, fans of the 1961 film are resting a bit easier.

On Monday, production for the remake announced that after auditioning over 30K actors from across the globe, they have officially filled out their main cast and fans are not feeling let down.

United Artists

The original adaptation of the hit Broadway musical, the Romeo-and-Juliet-like story tells of the star-crossed love between Tony, a former member of the white gang known as the Jets, and Maria, the younger sister of the leader of a Puerto Rican gang. Oscar-nominated screenwriter and Pulitzer Prize winner Tony Kushner has written the adaptation of the musical originally penned by Arthur Laurents and Stephen Sondheim with music by Leonard Bernstein.

Spielberg and his team have shown to a commitment to filling out a strong and authentic cast worthy of the adaptation by searching for their actors within the Puerto Rican and extended Latinx community. Doing their due diligence for the film, Speilberg, and writers from the film reportedly met with professors and students from Universidad de Puerto Rico – Río Piedras to garner a better understanding of performing arts on the island. They have also kept an open door of communication with Hispanic heritage and advocacy groups who have helped the filmmakers behind the remake with conducting research in regards to the Latino characters of the film and their storylines.

Speaking to Deadline about his approach to casting and researching the film, Spielberg said that “When we began this process a year ago, we announced that we would cast the roles of Maria, Anita, Bernardo, Chino and the Sharks with Latina and Latino actors. I’m so happy that we’ve assembled a cast that reflects the astonishing depth of talent in America’s multifaceted Hispanic community… I am in awe of the sheer force of the talent of these young performers, and I believe they’ll bring a new and electrifying energy to a magnificent musical that’s more relevant than ever.”

Newcomer Rachel Zegler is set to play star-crossed lover Maria.

rachelzegler / Instagram

Rachel Zegler is a high school student who responded to the production’s opening casting call for actors with a video of herself singing “Tonight” and “Me Siento Hermosa.” The 17-year-old has built a dedicated following on Youtube and Twitter in recent years, showing off her musical chops to her fans on the platforms.

Zegler recently caught the attention of the internet when she shared a viral video of her showing off her pipes.

Zegler sang a rendition of “Shallow” from the Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper film “A Star Is Born.”

It’s not the first time Zegler will play Maria forever.

No doubt, Zegler’s upcoming role will garner her far more attention than this internet hit.

Broadway veteran Ariana DeBose will fill the shoes of Rita Moreno in the iconic role of Anita.

arianadebose / Instagram

The casting of 27-year-old Ariana DeBose is sure to increase excitement over the remake. Not only is the American actress, singer, and dancer of Puerto Rican-descent starred in the off-Broadway ensemble of Hamilton back in 2015 and in 2018 she received a Tony Award nomination for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical for her role as  Disco Donna in Summer: The Donna Summer Musical. 

Also joining the film’s ensemble are David Alvarez as Bernardo and Josh Andrés Rivera has Chino.

Read: Remembering Miranda Sanchez On The 18th Anniversary Of ‘Lizzie McGuire’

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