Steven Spielberg Seeks Latin Actors for ‘West Side Story’ Remake
West Side Story is a classic film but if there's one problem with the movie, it's that three of its main Puerto Rican characters were played by white actors.
Now, Steven Spielberg is looking to fix that problem with his upcoming remake. A casting call for the roles of Tony, Maria, Anita and Bernardo has gone out and they're looking for Latino actors.
In the original film, Maria and Bernardo were played by White actors, while the role of Anita was portrayed by Puerto Rican actress Rita Moreno. The casting call for the upcoming film reads: "Tony is CAUSCASIAN Maria & Anita are LATINA Bernardo is LATINO." The casting call also says the actors must be able to sing—something actress Natalie Wood didn't do fully in the 1961 movie.
The original film—directed by Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise—won 10 Oscars, including Best Picture. Moreno also won Best Supporting Actress, while George Chakiris took home the award for Best Supporting Actor.
Last year, Moreno revealed White actors in the 1961 film were put in brown face, and even her own skin was darkened for the role.
“I remember saying to the makeup man one day—because it was like putting mud on my face, it was really dark and I’m a fairly fair Hispanic—and I said to the makeup man one day ‘My God! Why do we all have to be the same color?" she said during an appearance on the In the Thick podcast. "Puerto Ricans are French and Spanish...’ And it’s true, we are very many different colors, we’re Taino indian, we are Black some of us.”