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article imageOscar winner Rita Moreno talks 'One Day at a Time' on Netflix Special

By Markos Papadatos     Feb 5, 2019 in Entertainment
Academy Award-winning actress Rita Moreno ("West Side Story") chatted with Digital Journal about the third season of "One Day at a Time," which premieres on Netflix on Friday, February 8.
In One Day at a Time, Moreno portrays Lydia Riera, the matriarch of a Cuban-American family. "You're going to laugh a lot," she said, about this new season. "The wonderful thing about One Day at a Time is that you also cry because there are sad moments and serious issues that we take on in this show."
She continued, "The opening episode is absolutely hilarious, and it's with Gloria Estefan, who also sings the theme song 'This Is It'. She plays my sister, and we hate each other. We are both divas, we are really two peas in a pod. We are very alike but we can't stand each other. Gloria is marvelous, very funny, and we are dear friends in real life. The opening episode is called 'The Funeral', and you are going to laugh a lot."
Moreno noted that Grammy award-winning producer Emilio Estefan, Gloria's husband, produced her Spanish album, Una Vez Mas, which is available on iTunes and on Amazon.
On her daily motivations, the acclaimed actress said, "Acting is the most fun in the world, and I can still do it. I'm 87 years old, and everything at this age is terrific because I'm still here." "Waking up in the morning motivates me," she said, with a sweet laugh.
Earlier this month, Moreno was interviewed by television host and comedian Jimmy Kimmel. She was featured on his show Jimmy Kimmy Live, where they spoke about such topics as West Side Story, President Trump and playing a sexual grandma on Netflix's One Day at a Time. "That was fun, and apparently, I got a little extra publicity, when I gave the president the finger," she said.
A native of Puerto Rico, Moreno revealed that she will be in the upcoming adaptation of West Side Story, where she will be playing the role of Valentina. "I am also getting executive producer credits and I am doing the remake with Steven Spielberg and Tony Kushner," she said.
Speaking of West Side Story, in 1962, Moreno won the Golden Globe and the Academy Award for "Best Supporting Actress" for her portrayal of Anita in the original romantic musical film. West Side Story won a total of 10 Academy Awards, including "Best Picture," which made it the musical film with the most Oscar wins of all time.
On the key to longevity in show business, she said, "The fact that I am still around, still functioning, and still working is pretty fabulous."
Throughout her career in the acting business, Moreno holds the distinction of being one of 15 entertainers to win all major awards in the American entertainment world, which include an Oscar, an Emmy, a Grammy and a Tony Award. In 2004, Moreno was honored by President George W. Bush with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and in 2015, she was recognized as a Kennedy Center Honoree.
While acting may be "hard work," it is a profession and a craft that she still loves very much. The only thing that makes her a little nervous these days due to her age is being dialogue-heavy, where she has to memorize a lot of lines. "So far, so good," she said. "The brain is a muscle and I work it out a lot. My way of flexing the brain is to write with my left hand. That really makes the brain work, and I walk backward in a safe place, like a dance studio. You don't want to suddenly trip over a crack in the sidewalk."
Moreno also praised the defunct sitcom Happily Divorced, created by Fran Drescher and Peter Marc Jacobson, as a "fun show." "I still miss it. That was so much fun," she said.
For young and aspiring actors, she encouraged them to "finish their education." "There is no guarantee that you are going to be a working actor let alone a star," she said. "Finish your education, and have some trade so you can actually pay the rent, and pay for your acting and singing lessons."
When asked to reflect back in a rearview mirror over the last seven decades, Moreno acknowledged that she sees "the luckiest woman in the world."
Digital transformation of the entertainment business
On the impact of technology on the entertainment industry, especially with streaming services taking over, Moreno said, "I think they are fabulous as long as they don't take over for movies. I hope movies will always be important. Streaming is a terrific thing because you can watch an entire season in one evening if you have the stamina. Television is doing really great work with fabulous shows: serious ones, farcical ones, funny ones, and game shows. It's extraordinary. I just don't want it to take the place of film since as far as I am concerned, nothing replaces film."
In the little spare time that she has, the actress shared that she enjoys gardening. "I can't really garden for anything serious because I am gone so much. I would love to grow vegetables. Tomatoes would be wonderful, but I am never home enough to take care of them," she said.
Moreno defined the word success as "being a working actress."
For her loyal fans, Moreno concluded, "I love them for loving me. I hope they watch One Day at a Time. It is too good to miss."
To learn more about One Day at a Time, check out the official Netflix website.
For more information on Oscar-winning actress Rita Moreno, check out her Facebook page and follow her on Twitter.
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