Why Did Rita Moreno Play Anita in West Side Story? What Led to This Decision?

If you’re born in the 40s or so, you’ve probably have heard about Rita Moreno, the popular actress in the movie Anita West Side Story. I’m not going to lie, to iconic roles in musical theater, few are as legendary as Anita in West Side Story.

The 1961 film adaptation of the Broadway classic starred Rita Moreno in the role of the spirited and vivacious Anita. But why did Play Anita in West Side Story? This is what we’ll be showing showing you.

Why Did Rita Moreno Play Anita in West Side Story?

Anita was already outstanding in acting, so it was not only talent that got her cast for West Side Story, but it was really to break the barriers.

I know the young folks would not know too much, but in the early 1960s, Hollywood went under some heavy criticism for the lack of diversity and accurate representation of different ethnicities.

Moreno’s casting was sort of a break from tradition, an opening to call for diversity and an all-inclusive space to bring many Latino peoples into an industry that was supposed to bust stereotyping and bring out multi-talented performers coming from various backgrounds.

Rita Moreno’s Talent and Versatility

While it was a purely social and cultural choice, it went off the charts in terms of hiring Rita Moreno for talent and versatility.

In “West Side Story”, Moreno revealed how she can go from drama to dance to singing with a seamless shifting, which had the nation cheering for her.

So, for example of her increasingly iconic “America” might just define the state of film history, that she is a versatile actress that can deliver tough trappings of a complex role superbly.

Final Thoughts

Anita reimagined by Rita Moreno in “West Side Story” was one of those landmark events in the history of how movie casting used to take place in Hollywood.

As it will happen, her casting against the stereotype will lead to another milestone for diversity and inclusion within the film industry. Anita to be played by a young actress of thrilling talent, versatility, and personal radiance—Rita Moreno.

The narrator was a legendary Moreno and said: “West Side Story still testified to the growing strength of breaking moments.” There were evident themes of diversity in the entertainment world.

Keeping the footsteps of Anita in West Side Story reminds one of the world she helped in showing to the world she portrays in the world of cinema.