Rita Moreno (Probably) Won’t Cameo in ‘West Side Story’ Remake


As casting for Steven Spielberg’s remake of classic musical “West Side Story” continues, one of the most difficult roles to assign will likely be that of Anita, the fan favorite character portrayed by Oscar winner Rita Moreno. And while fans are clamoring for the legendary actress to appear in the flick in some capacity (a cameo, or heck, even somehow playing Anita again herself), that doesn’t seem likely to happen.
Moreno discussed the possibility of appearing in the flick last week, while attending a Paley Center event in honor of “West Side Story” choreographer Jerome Robbins. While fellow original cast members Russ Tamblyn (Riff), George Chakiris (Bernardo), and Eliot Feld (Baby John) told Entertainment Weekly that they would all jump at the chance to cameo in Spielberg’s film, Moreno sang a decidedly different tune.
“That would be strange,” the actress told EW on the red carpet. “I think it would be distracting. No, no, no I don’t belong in there in any capacity.”
During a panel discussion, Moreno opened up about her concerns about the remake itself, admitting that she’s “anxious” about the update. And she had particular concern about the film’s screenwriter, Oscar nominee (“Lincoln,” “Munich”) and Tony winner (“Angels in America”) Tony Kushner.
EW reports:

Moreno told [panel moderator, director Rob Marshall] Spielberg is one of her favorite directors, but she’s less convinced by Tony Kushner’s involvement. “Tony Kushner, I get nervous,” she said. “I get nervous because you can only get just so gritty and then is it the ‘West Side Story’ we know? Should it be the ‘West Side Story’ we know? I don’t know. I’m kind of torn about the Kushner aspect of it.”
Though, she added, “I just want it to be successful.”

We’re not entirely sure why Moreno thinks Kushner’s involvement automatically means that the film will be “gritty,” but based on Spielberg and Kushner’s track records, we’re certain that it will indeed be successful. The flick already has its male lead, with Ansel Elgort (“Baby Driver,” “The Fault in Our Stars”) tapped to play Tony.
We’re sad that Moreno won’t also join the cast, but we’ll hold out hope that she reconsiders — somehow, someday, somewhere.
[via: Entertainment Weekly]

West Side StoryOctober 18th, 196186metacriticBased on 17 Critics

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