It was 55-years ago that West Side Story nabbed 10 Oscars – including Best Picture. And this week Entertainment Weekly asked Rita Moreno – who also picked up an Oscar for her performance in the film – to look back at one of the most iconic numbers in the movie, the dance sequence for “America.”
She says the trickiest part of the sequence was
The end. The girls end up on the boys’ shoulders. But we hadn’t counted on me wearing a silk dress and George (Chakiris) wearing a silk jacket. Slippery. Plus George’s shoulders slope. Plus my ass was bigger than his shoulder. We did an inordinate amount of takes because I would land on his shoulder and slide off. You could hear me “Oh…oh…oh…s—!”
The solution? One cheek on the shoulder, one on George’s hand, and Rita’s leg digging into his back in a death grip.
She also remembered another memorable part of the sequence – her purple dress.
It’s not a very blingy costume – we didn’t use that word then – but it’s so iconic. I remember the shoes kept flying off whenever I did a high kick. But they were very cute and that’s what was important.
Good to know our priorities are still the same.