The Rita Moreno documentary debuted on October 5. Rita Moreno: Just a girl who decided to go for it Takes an honest look at the life and career of the iconic actor. And she doesn’t shy away from talking about the hardship she experienced in Hollywood. For most of his early career, the Puerto Rican star was typecast in roles that perpetuated harmful ethnic stereotypes. Moreno’s roles included Asian, Native American women, to name a few. And despite playing a Puerto Rican character in story of the west, she had to put on make-up that turned her own skin dark. Moreno elaborated on the moment he realized he had to put a stop to typecasting in a recent panel about his documentary.
Rita Moreno’s roles over the years
Moreno was born into poverty in Puerto Rico in 1931. When she was 5 years old, she immigrated to the United States with her family. And she snagged coveted Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) contracts like Elizabeth Taylor and Debbie Reynolds. Moreno told Washington Post She wanted to be like Taylor and tried very hard to be like her. and he hoped that his contract would open the same doors for him that he did for her cleopatra Star.
“I was deeply disappointed when I found that they only saw me as this little Spanish character,” Moreno said. “Sometimes I feel that if I had a fair complexion, I would have got more roles. But being named Hispanic and having fair skin did not match his image of what a Hispanic person looked like. And so, came a lot of dark makeup and accents. I was really heart broken. “
She said that casting directors would not consider auditioning her for roles because of her name and appearance.
“It was offensive, and it was very hurtful,” the 89-year-old said. Moreno took what he could get. And even after becoming the first (and still only) Latinx actor to win an acting Oscar for story of the west, she remained typecast.
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Rita Moreno takes fighting typecasting into her own hands
just a girl who decided to go for it Premiered in theaters in 2021. It debuted on TV on October 5 on PBS as part of american masters. At a panel promoting the documentary in August, Moreno detailed the moment he realized he had to end typecasting.
“I suddenly realized, ‘Wait a minute. Why do I always have to speak with the accent?” he said, according to time limit. “‘Why do I always have to wear dark, dark, dark makeup that’s not the color of my skin? Why am I letting these people tell me who I am?’ But it didn’t happen much later. I can take all the blame for accepting it for too long. But I had no guru, no one to guide me.”
It’s no fault of Moreno for being typecast in these roles. It was Hollywood’s horrific racism and lack of diversity that led her to these parts. Moreno wanted to share his feelings about this in the documentary because ignoring it – and the other ups and downs of his life – would not be honest.
“If I was going to do this project, it was important to me that I was going to make a promise that I would be as honest and truthful as possible,” she said. The actor continued, “I didn’t want me to go on record for the rest of my life or the rest of my identity as an actor that I intentionally lied about something. And I think that had an amazing effect. “