rita moreno

Rita Moreno Will Be Watching the West Side Story Movie Rehearsals, So Don’t Mess Up

Rita sees all. Photo: Rachel Luna/Getty Images

Rita Moreno won the O in her EGOT from playing Anita in the film version of West Side Story, and she’s not about to let anybody mess up the movie’s legacy with the remake. Moreno has a small part and is an executive producer in Spielberg’s new version of the story, and as she told People in an interview, she’s also planning to drop by the dance rehearsals to make sure everyone’s getting the choreography right. “I know that some steps are going to be changed, and that’s what I’m anxious to see,” Moreno said of the work choreographer Justin Peck is doing on the movie off of Jerome Robbins’s original dances. “To what extent I don’t know yet. I’ll be visiting the rehearsals and I’ll say, ‘Huh! You took that step out, are you crazy?’ But I don’t want to make him nervous.” People’s hosts pointed out that this might make everyone nervous, to which Moreno responded as only she could, “You know what? Tough darts!”

In other maybe-Rita-Moreno-should-just-direct-and-choreograph-this-movie-herself news, the actress also discussed how she’s keeping an eye on the use of Spanish in West Side Story. In an interview on SiriusXM, she revealed that she’s read a “very, very rough” version of Tony Kushner’s script. Kushner, she said, “did the Spanish parts with his dictionary Spanish, which was horrific,” which is a great way to prove that you can write Angels in America but you can still definitely be taken down a peg. Though she doesn’t clarify whether she’s talking about Spanish dialogue or lyrics, like the ones used in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway revival, Moreno promises that Kushner’s Spanish will be improved in the final shooting version of West Side Story. Thank God, or rather, Rita.

Rita Moreno Will Be Watching the West Side Story Rehearsals