Thanks to the West Side Story remake, we’re enjoying seeing Rita Moreno getting much-deserved attention again, and aside from her enormous talent, people are noticing just how great she looks for her age.
On, Thursday, March 14, the 87-year-old attended the Maestro Cares Foundation’s Changing Lives, Building Dreams Gala in New York City, and responded to the remake to the 1961 film that introduced her to a mainstream audience.
“I’m playing Valentina, Valentina is the widow of Doc who owns the candy store and that’s where Valentina belongs,” the actress exclusively told Closer Weekly of her role in the new version of the classic film. She continued, “The part has been extended somewhat and I can’t wait, I can’t believe it’s happening. You want to talk about full circle, huh? It’s crazy.” The Oscar-winner will also be doing more than just acting too.
“He’s [Steven Spielberg] giving me executive producer credit because he calls me the bridge to the movie,” she revealed. Rita also touched on what she is most proud of in her career saying, “That I’m still here and I’m a working actress. It’s extraordinary. I’m 87.” And what’s her secret to looking so amazing at her age?
“It’s Puerto Rican genes. I know it is,” she said. “There’s no plastic here.” The dancer once revealed that back during the filming of the original West Side Story, her skin was actually darkened to play the role of her hispanic character, Anita.
“I really resented it when they put very dark makeup on me because that’s not my color,” she told the Associated Press. “I remember one time saying to the makeup man who was making me up, ‘I really hate this color because this isn’t the color I am.’” she said. “And he actually said to me, ‘What, are you racist?’” Rita recalled that she was left “so stunned that I didn’t say anything.”
“I didn’t know what to say,” she added. “That’s really also how little people know about Puerto Ricans.” There is not an official release date yet for the film’s remake.