In the early 1960s, Rita Moreno, born in Puerto Rico and in her late twenties, played a role that would change her life.

As Anita in the theatrical version of the musical "West Side Story", she was the first actress with Latin American roots to be awarded the Golden Globe and the Oscar.

Now, at almost ninety years of age, Moreno can be seen again in a “West Side Story”: in Steven Spielberg's remake (which opened in theaters last Thursday).

A small cinematic miracle.

Sixty years after the premiere of the original version, it's “West Side Story” again.

Doesn't that seem a bit surreal to you?

It was actually very surreal to be on this film set.

I have a scene with the actress who is now playing Anita.

And that was really bizarre and crazy.

But the fact that this remake exists is, above all, terribly exciting to me.

I have no words to express what I feel.

The very fact that I'm still there to experience this is a miracle.

I will be ninety years old on December 11th.

And sometimes I can't believe what I've experienced on this path myself.

What does it mean to you to have co-produced the film?

That really means a lot to me.

Because Steven (Spielberg) didn't just offer me this title as a gesture.

He wanted to hear my opinion.

It wasn't just about how we made the film back then.

He was interested in what I thought was missing in the development and implementation of the characters at the time.

And he wanted to take that into account in his new version.

The 1961 version played against the background of discussions about immigration and youth gangs.

Maria, the main female character, was a Puerto Rican but was played by Hollywood star Natalie Wood, a white woman.

What did you personally miss at the time?

This time we told the story much clearer and more straightforward.

Above all, this time the political aspect is worked out, which was completely lost at the time.

And all roles that have a Hispanic-Latin American background are also played by actors of this origin this time.

Steven really gave everything to get right everything that went wrong back then.

I'm sorry to say that, and I don't want it to sound like criticizing the original either.

Because without that we wouldn't have this version now.

What do you think of your performance back then?

I think I was pretty good.

I was in the juice and had a lot of energy.

And I immediately understood this figure.

I knew Anita.

That's why I was able to go deeper immediately while playing.

Because somehow I was Anita.

There were so many parallels to my own life.

I didn't even have to come up with a backstory for her.

Because I knew them.

And I knew instinctively what she was thinking and what she was going to say.

You earned the main income of your family by the age of sixteen.

How did you cope with this responsibility?

I just accepted it.

But I wasn't financially responsible for the whole family until I went to Hollywood when I was eighteen.

My mother had divorced my stepfather.

My little brother was a baby back then and there were only three of us left.

At the time, I was especially happy that MGM signed me and that I had a steady income.

But my mother had jobs again at some point.

Either she could take the baby with her or I would take care of it when I wasn't making a movie.

Somehow we made it through.

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