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Rita Moreno says resilience, therapy helped her cope with racism and sexual abuse




I think I owe a huge debt to psychotherapy. Without it, I wouldn’t be the Rita you know and love.

It was acting legend Rita Moreno speaking to the Guardian. Moreno, 89, launches the media challenge this week ahead of the West Side Story remake in theaters on December 10, along with the documentary Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It, currently airing on Netflix NFLX,

In fact, the EGOT winner (as in, scoring Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Awards), which turns 90 the day after Stephen Spielbergs anticipated West Side Story’s musical releases in theaters, was all the rage among real-time searches on Google for most of Monday morning thanks to to his viral interviews on 60 minutes and the Today show, as well as a long profile in the Guardian.

And that’s probably because Moreno has shared candid accounts of her 70-year career, including the racism and sexual abuse she suffered, as well as her out-of-the-box relationships with icons like Marlon Brando. and Elvis Presley.

If you’ve been traumatized from childhood to believe you were a spic, that you were a garlic mouth, that you are not worthy, it takes a long time to get rid of it, she said. told the Guardian. I went into therapy to get better.

Her trauma includes the rape by her agent when she arrived in Hollywood as a teenager. She said she kept him as an agent, however, because she was supporting her family and needed to be able to continue working.

She also recalled being harassed by 20th Century Fox big boss Buddy Adler and the late Harry Cohn, co-founder of Columbia Pictures, stories of sexual harassment by powerful men that resonate even more in light of the movement’s revival. #MeToo in 2017. Indeed, sexual harassment in the workplace has contributed to widening the gender wage gap and can cost survivors $ 600 to $ 1.3 million over their lifetime, according to theTimes Up Foundation and Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

Read more:Sexual harassment in the workplace can cost survivors up to $ 1.3 million over a lifetime

And:A step-by-step guide to getting help if you’re a victim of sexual harassment at work

I want women to know that all the rewards in the world will never make up for the things I have experienced in my life, she told 60 Minutes interviewer Bill Whitaker. The alpha and omega are respect and self esteem, which took me a long time to gain.

She also shared her frustration at being cataloged in a series of roles that she described as dark maidens or masculine island girls, where her skin was darkened, and she was asked to speak with heavy exotic accents. .

Related: Latinos in Hollywood still face an epidemic of invisibility and stereotypical movie roles

It hurts to see myself do such humiliating things, she told Whitaker. I accepted a lot because there was nothing else. And I took them with great shame.

I want women to know that all the rewards in the world will never make up for the things that I have experienced in my life.

And her Oscar-winning role as Anita in the 1961 film adaptation of West Side Story has always seen her carried over thereafter. She said she was offered roles in underage gangster movies.

But she was able to walk out of West Side Story with the confidence to be more selective about the roles she played, she said. And that led to her taking on more roles in theater, television, and one-woman shows, which earned her her eventual EGOT status.

Related: Underfunded and Undervalued: Stifling Black Talent in Hollywood Costs Industry $ 10 Billion

She has also become an activist for women’s rights and minority rights. She joined the 1963 March in Washington and attended the I Have a Dream speech by Martin Luther King Jr.s.

Today she is a producer on Spielbergs West Side Story, with music and lyrics written by the late Stephen Sondheim, and also plays a role in the film that was written for her: Valentina, Doc’s widow, who was the owner of the candy store at the original movie.

She said she sees signs Hollywood is becoming more inclusive, although there is still a long way to go. It is important to note that [Tony] Kushner and [Steven] Spielberg made much of the fact that everyone playing a Latino had being a Latino in the West Side Story remake, she noted on Today on Monday.

I think Hollywood has changed. I think there are still things to be worked out. The representation Hispanics get is almost nil, she told 60 Minutes.

Moreno also opened up about some of his relationships, including his tumultuous time with Brando, who was an incredible lover, she told The Guardian, and dating Elvis Presley to make him jealous.

But she likes to be alone in her 80s. I lovebeing alone, she told The Guardian. It is not difficult to be alone. In fact, it’s great, if you like the person you’re living with.




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