A 'Look' through Spielberg's lens at 'West Side Story'
Last Edit: WaymanWong 08:16 pm EDT 06/16/21
Posted by: WaymanWong 08:07 pm EDT 06/16/21
In reply to: re: Rita Moreno defends Miranda. - Rich15 05:51 pm EDT 06/16/21

For what it's worth, Vanity Fair's ''A First Look at Steven Spielberg's West Side Story'' details the director's efforts to include Latino input:

* Many of the “Puerto Ricans” in the original movie were white actors in brown makeup. Spielberg only wanted performers with Hispanic backgrounds to play Hispanic characters, and he estimates that 20 of the 33 Puerto Rican characters are specifically Puerto Rican or of Puerto Rican descent. “They brought an authenticity,” he says. “They brought themselves, and everything they believe and everything about them ... to the work. ... They all represent a diversity, both within the Puerto Rican, Nuyorican community as well as the broader Latinx community. And they took that seriously.”

* Ariana DeBose, who plays Anita, says Spielberg often asked for her views on how her character should be played: “I’m Afro-Latina and I said to him, ‘As a woman of color, if you’re going to consider me for this role, I would potentially be the darkest woman to play her onscreen,’” says DeBose. “There’s also the reality that it’s a period piece and there’s racial tension.” Having a biracial Anita intensifies that for the new film. “In one way, you’re not really sure if Anita’s African-American or if she’s Latina,” she says. “I was like, ‘I think there’s really something to lean into, if that’s of value,’ and he was intrigued by that observation. It was fun from the jump to feel like I was contributing to his new vision in a way.”
Link Vanity Fair: A First Look at Steven Spielberg's 'West Side Story'

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