Rita Moreno, 89, Insists She Has ‘A Great Sense Of Humour About Ageing’: ‘I Drive Everyone Crazy’


Rita Moreno talks ageing, starring in the upcoming “West Side Story” remake and more as she joins the likes of Quentin Tarantino and Bowen Yang for W Magazine‘s annual “The Originals” issue.


Moreno, whose starring performance as Anita in the 1961 film version of “West Side Story” resulted in her becoming the first Latina to win an Oscar, tells the mag of the Steven Spielberg-directed remake being released the day before her 90th birthday: “I have a great sense of humour about ageing, and I think I’m one of the funniest people I know when it comes to ageing, because I misplace stuff and I drive everyone crazy looking for the house keys or something.”


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“Once, I couldn’t find my purse, and I upended the car, upended the house. I could not find that f**king purse. And then two days ago, I opened the cabinet in the kitchen where all the doggie stuff is, and guess what? I had put it in there. I started laughing so hard, I nearly peed. I couldn’t stop laughing. I thought, ‘You silly b***h.’”


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Moreno adds of discovering the power of confidence: “I think it happened through therapy. A lot of people go into it thinking that the doctor is going to solve everything for them.


“And they discover, with a terrible thundering shock, that it’s really not the doctor who is going to do that; you do a lot of the work. That’s something that I think surprises everyone. It certainly surprised me.”


Tarantino chats about his favourite films of the late ’60s, when “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” is set, in his interview.


He says, “’Head’, starring the Monkees—the script is cowritten by Jack Nicholson! And ‘Yellow Submarine’. I’m not a big Beatles fan; you’re either an Elvis man or a Beatles man, and I’m an Elvis man. But sometime in 1999, my then girlfriend and I watched ‘Yellow Submarine’, and we loved it. After seeing ‘Yellow Submarine’, there finally was one thing about the Beatles that I had tremendous affection for.”


Quentin Tarantino. Photographed by Jamie Hawksworth
Quentin Tarantino. Photographed by Jamie Hawksworth

Yang then discusses the most unoriginal question he gets asked in interviews during his segment of the issue.


He insists, “Do I feel pressure for whatever representation framing they want to throw on me. There’s no good answer for that.


“So I think that makes it a bad question already, but then the fact that it’s asked so much also makes it unoriginal. I understand why it’s an important thing to talk about. I just don’t know that I’ve ever felt good about answering it.”


Bowen Yang. Photographed by Andreas Laszlo Konrath
Bowen Yang. Photographed by Andreas Laszlo Konrath