West Side Story is getting a remake. We repeat – the film we all obsessed over, which led to the first Latina (Rita Moreno) winning an Oscar is getting remade by none other than acclaimed director, Steven Spielberg. Even though most of us probably weren’t even born at the time of the film’s 1961 release, (based off the 1957 play of the same name) it’s still been a staple in many Latinx households.
And now, a casting call has recently been released in the hunt to find the perfect Tony, Maria, Anita, and Bernardo.
— Mark Harris (@MarkHarrisNYC) January 26, 2018
Now, I’m excited at seeing this come alive in a day of such amazing technological advancements – I mean, the dance scenes will be ridiculous in hi-def (move over La La Land). BUT, and this is a major BUT, Spielberg better not mess around and put some non-Latinx characters in roles intended for US! Of the four leads, three of whom are Latinx in the original script, only one was played by an actual Latina in the 1961 version – Rita Moreno as Anita. The titular role of Maria was played by Natalie Wood, and Bernardo was played by George Chakiris.
The casting call specifically states that Maria and Anita are Latina and Bernardo is Latino so let’s hope that that means they will represent us well and leave out the brown face. (FYI Hollywood, Latinx come in all shades – you don’t need to go around painting people). We’ve seen the ways in which Hollywood has done a poor job with Latinx representation and we’re all sick and tired of being left out.
We’re also stoked to see that this is a nationwide, public call which signifies a great opportunity for unknown talent to get a shot at breaking into the mainstream. If you’re interested or know someone who is, don’t hesitate in applying and fulfilling your dreams. Details and email in the image above.