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

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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”

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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

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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

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“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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20 Latinas Who Voiced Your Favorite Cartoon Characters

Entertainment

20 Latinas Who Voiced Your Favorite Cartoon Characters

More and more often, we’re seeing Latinas represent our stories on television, in movies, and in books. However, it’s not just Latina faces that make a big impression on these platforms. Animated cartoons, video games, and movies also benefit from the talents of Latina actresses. In fact, these Latinas have been voicing our favorite cartoon characters for generations.

The latest example of Latina talent coming to us in animated form is the new Netflix reboot of “Carmen Sandiego”. Premiering January 18th, the show is a fresh spin on the 90’s fan favorite. Voicing the mysterious master thief is ‘Jane the Virgin’ star Gina Rodriguez.

Twitter / @carmensandiego

The series will explore how Sandiego got her start in the world of International mystery. The reboot also stars “Stranger Things” lead Finn Wolfhard to provide the voice of Player, Sandiego’s sidekick, and friend.

Anticipating the success of this reboot, Netflix has already authorized a live-action “Carmen Sandiego.” Rodriguez will also play Sandiego in the live-action series and we can’t wait to see how she looks in that iconic red fedora.

Netflix’s “Carmen Sandiego” will no doubt be a nostalgic treat for those of us who grew up with the OG Sandiego. What better reason to take a look at all the other Latinas that voiced our favorite animated characters.

1. Rita Moreno

Mark Hill / PBS

Moreno has starred in some of the most beloved films of all time but she’s also a talented voice actress. In fact, Moreno was the first to voice Carmen Sandiego when she starred in the original incarnation of the series. She is also the voice of Abuelita in “Nina’s World” and has voiced a number of characters from “Rio 2,” “Special Agent Oso” and “Sofia the First.”

2. Gina Rodriguez

Shutterstock / Twitter

Besides lending her voice to the new “Carmen Sandiego,” Rodriguez also voices a character for another Netflix animation. Rodriguez joined the second season of “Big Mouth” to voice Gina, the first girl in the main character’s fictional school to go through puberty. The actress has also given voice to more family-friendly characters in “Ferdinand” and “Smallfoot.”

3. Shakira

Shutterstock / Disney

Anyone with a voice as unique and beautiful as Shakira is obviously going to be a natural voice actress. In 2016, the Colombian songstress brought “Zootopia” popstar Gazelle to life for Disney audiences. She also contributed the catchy bop “Try Anything” to the movie’s soundtrack.

4. Alanna Ubach

Getty Images / Walt Disney Studios

You probably heard Ubach’s voice in the hit Disney animated film “Coco” as the strong-willed matriarch Mama Imelda. Besides providing her talking voice, the Californian star also belted out the beautiful song “La Llorona” in the film. In addition to bringing Mama Imelda to life, she also played the titular character in “El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera.”

5. Zoë Saldana

Getty Images / 20th Century Fox Animation

She may be best known as Gamora from the “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise, but Saldana has also gone digital. In “The Book of Life,” she voiced the movie’s smart, independent heroine, Maria. The Latina has also lent her voice to “My Little Pony: The Movie” and will appear in 2019’s “Missing Link.”

6. Selena Gomez

Between her singing career and producing projects like “13 Reasons Why,” Gomez has found time to voice her recurring character for the “Hotel Transylvania” series. Mavis, the adorable vampire daughter of Dracula, has been voiced by Gomez for all three movies in the franchise.

7. Genesis Rodriguez

David Buchan / Getty Images North America

Rodriguez isn’t just an actress, she also provided the voice for Disney/Pixar’s first Latina superhero. Voiced by Rodriguez, Honey Lemon is the bubbly super scientist superhero from “Big Hero 6.” She must have a knack for playing powerful women because Rodriguez also voices Princess Perfuma in “She-Ra and the Princesses of Power.”

8. Aimee Carrero

Netflix / Getty Images

Speaking of She-Ra, Carrero plays the ultimate princess of power, Adora (She-Ra), in the new reboot of the franchise. She isn’t the only princess the Latina has voiced. Carrero also voices Disney’s first Latina princess, Elena, in the animated series “Elena of Avalor.”

9. Jenna Ortega

Disney Animation Studios / Getty Images

Elena isn’t the only princess Avalor has to offer. Elena’s little sister, Princess Isabel, is voiced by 16-year-old Ortega. The young actress also provided voices for the award-winning animated miniseries “Over the Garden Wall.”

10. Sara Ramirez

ABC / Disney Animation Studios

You may know her best for her time on “Grey’s Anatomy,” but Ramirez also plays a more royal role in Disney’s animated series “Sofia the First.” As Queen Miranda, Ramirez doles out advice to her royal children (along with the occasional song).

11. Raini Rodriguez

Getty Images / Disney Animation Studios

A Disney Channel regular, this Mexicana has most recently provided the voice for Creepy Caroline, the adorable gorgon from “Vampirina.” She’s also voiced characters for other Disney Junior series like “The Lion Gaurd” and “Handy Manny.”

12. Lexi Medrano

Netflix / Getty Images

Last year’s Netflix animated series “Trollhunters,” introduced us to the smart and brave Claire Nuñez. Created by Guillermo Del Toro, the show is the first in the “Tales of Arcadia.” Claire, voiced by Medrano, also appears in the next two installments of the series: “3 Below” and “Wizard.”

13. Carolina Ravassa

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Actress and producer Ravassa has acted in big-name series like “Mr. Robot,” but she’s no stranger to voiceover work. In fact, Ravassa is the voice of Sombra in the extremely popular Overwatch game series. The Columbiana also voiced Taliana Martinez in Grand Theft Auto V and has provided voices for Just Cause 4.

14. Salma Hayek

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Hayek has been acting since the late 80’s so it’s no surprise that she’s brought a few animated characters to life. In 2011, she voiced the fiercely-cute Kitty Softpaws in DreamWorks’ “Puss in Boots.” The Mexicana has also lent her voice to the role of Cutlass Liz in the animated film “The Pirates! Band of Misfits.”

15. Jessica Alba

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In 2013, Alba’s voice debuted in her first animated feature. In “Escape from Planet Earth,” the Latina plays Lena Thackleman, an alien bureaucrat and surprise baddie. This may be her first, but with three kids of her own, we’re sure Alba will take on more animated roles in the future.

16. Sofía Vergara

Pacifica Coast News

Vergara may be the highest paid actress on television, but she’s also starred in a few animated films. She has most notably brought her sultry energy to Carmen from the Warner Brothers hit “Happy Feet 2.” The Colombiana has also given her voice to “The Emoji Movie,” “The Simpsons” and “Escape from Planet Earth.”

17. Eva Longoria

Shutterstock / Sony Pictures Animation

As an actress, producer, and director, Longoria has an impressive resume under her belt which includes quite a few animated voice-over roles. Besides providing her voice to the British animated movie “Arthur Christmas,” Longoria has also voiced characters for “BoJack Horseman” and “The Simpsons.”

18. Jennifer Lopez

Lopez is a global superstar who has had her hand in everything from music to television. So, using her famous voice to bring a few animated characters to life is just another day for JLo. She first voiced Azteca in the late 90’s animated movie “Antz.” More recently she joined the “Ice Age” franchise as Shira and voiced the mom in Rhianna’s animated movie “Home.”

19. Rosario Dawson

Dawson is obviously a big DC comics fan because the Latina actress has offered her voice to many characters in their animated world. Most recently, she brought Barbara Gordon (BatGirl) to life for “The Lego Batman Movie.” Additionally, she’s voiced several characters in the “Justice League” franchise.

20. Morena Baccarin

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Baccarin is another hard-core DC comics fan. Best known for her role in the live-action “Gotham,” she’s also lent her voice to multiple animated Batman movies. Namely, she’s played Black Canary in “Justice League Unlimited” and Cheetah in “Batman: The Brave and the Bold.”

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