INTERVIEW: Rita Moreno on JLo & Being Latino

At 80-years old, Rita Moreno is still hard at work on television and film. CineMovie caught up with the Hollywood veteran who dished on why Jennifer Lopez should consider more serious roles and why she sometimes feels like a “dirty old women” when it comes to Antonio Banderas and Andy Garcia.

With a career that spans over 60 years, Rita Moreno isn’t slowing down.  She recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of West Side Story and scored a role as Fran Drescher’s mother on the TV Land sitcom “Happily Divorced.”  One of the first and few Latinos to win an Academy Award for her supporting role as Anita in West Side Story, the multi-talented actress is also a proud owner of a Grammy and a Tony.  On April 14, the Puerto Rican native also received a Lifetime award at the National Association of Latino Producers’ annual convention in Los Angeles.

In our interview with the actress at red carpet event, Rita felt very “honored” and “special” to be “among her own.” She stressed the importance of supporting the Latino community.  She was especially excited that her friend Lupe Ontiveros was handing her the award. The two friends have not worked together on screen, but CineMovie suggested they team up for a “Golden Girls” Latino style. Maybe someone will write it.

When it came to naming a film that best exemplified Latinos, the West Side Story star mentioned Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez’s bio pic El Cantante based on the tumultuous life of singer Hector Lavoe. The film was largely overlooked by critics, but Rita called out Jennifer Lopez’s performance as “wonderful” and the last “god” film that featured Latinos. She went on say that Jennifer Lopez’s role in the film reminded many that she “can be a serious” actress although the American Idol judge seems to prefer romantic comedies like “Made in Manhattan.”  “She makes the choices,” Rita added.

Regarding other Latino actors, Rita expressed her fondness for Andy Garcia and Antonio Banderas not only for their acting abilities, but for their good looks as well.  She joked that every time she sees them, she feels like “a dirty old women” for fawning over them like a school girl.  We don’t blame her.

Catch Rita Moreno on TV Land in her recurring role on “Happily Divorced.”

CLICK HERE for specially priced $449 tickets available ONLY in the month of May.


Categories: NGLC Conference

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