‘This Is My Coloring Book’: Rita Moreno on Being Immortalized for the Screen

Remezcla’s Kiko Martínez interviews Rita Moreno about her life and career as presented in the new documentary Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It, directed by Mariem Pérez Riera.

After 89 years on earth, 78 of them as a professional actress, singer and dancer, icon Rita Moreno’s life has finally been immortalized for the screen. In the documentary Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It, director Mariem Pérez Riera accepts the challenge of condensing the Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony (EGOT) award-winning performer’s extensive career into a compelling feature film.

From leaving Puerto Rico as a child with her mother in 1936 to live in New York City to the memorable movies she’s starred in to the countless accolades she’s received in her twilight years, Riera’s film captures the emotional, authentic and sometimes heartbreaking experiences Moreno faced as she rose to fame in Hollywood.

While many of the stories in the documentary were included in Moreno’s 2014 memoir, it was important for her to allow her fans to see her speak about them herself, which, Moreno said, is an entirely unique experience altogether.

“I think describing things in person immediately brings up different feelings,” Moreno tells Remezcla. “I’m repeating stories in different ways and with different words. It’s still the same life—but with colors. This is my coloring book.”

When initially approached to make the film, Moreno said she was hesitant, but decided she would do it if she could promise herself to make a documentary that was “completely personal. That was the most important thing,” she says. “I didn’t want to leave things out. I wanted to be very personal and honest—even when it was hard to be honest.”

During our interview, Moreno, who will turn 90 in December, talked about why her age is just a number, the problems she always had in the makeup chair when they wanted to darken her skin for a role and more.

Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It makes its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 29. To purchase a ticket to the virtual screening, visit Sundance’s website.

For original article, see https://remezcla.com/features/film/rita-moreno-sundance-documentary-interview/

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