In just two months, the world will get to know Rita Moreno’s story like never before. The trailer for Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It, the documentary about the EGOT-winning artist was released this week and is a sneak peek into her story that leaves you wanting more. The film had its world premiere at the 2021 Sundance festival and follows the highs and lows of Moreno’s early life and career. Directed by Mariem Pérez Riera, “the film chronicles Moreno from her early years in Puerto Rico through her childhood as an immigrant in New York City and the racial bias she faced in the studio system while breaking down barriers and overcoming sexism and identity discrimination with integrity.” The documentary includes interviews with Moreno as she candidly discusses sexual abuse, racial bias, and the glass ceiling she smashed through.
The legendary actress is the first Latina woman (and the second woman overall) to win an Oscar, an Emmy, a Tony, and a Grammy- making her an EGOT and the last living performer to have done so. Born, Rosita Dolores Alverío in Humacao Puerto Rico on December 11, 1931 to seamstress Rosa María and farmer Francisco José “Paco” Alverío. There‘s old footage in the trailer of Moreno telling an audience of Puerto Ricans, “Wear your race around you like a flag.”
After securing a contract with MGM, Moreno’s career soared. “Little Puerto Rican girl who nobody thought much of, at MGM with a contract,” she says. But that contract came with terrifying power. “I really was often treated like a sex object,” says the West Side Story star. It was explained that at the time, the studio would ask contract players to go on pretend dates. “Before I know it, he’s forcing himself on me,” Moreno heartbreaking recalls.” The One Day At a Time actress was also forced to accept stereotypical roles because that’s all was available. Eva Longoria explains in the trailer, “it really hurt her soul to have to play those characters in that way.”
In addition to Moreno, others featured in the doc are George Chakiris, Héctor Elizondo, Gloria Estefan, Tom Fontana, Morgan Freeman, Mitzi Gaynor, Whoopi Goldberg, Norman Lear, Justina Machado, Terrence McNally, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Karen Olivo, per PLAYBILL. Executive produced by Norman Lear, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Michael Kantor, Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It, is scheduled to be released in theaters on June 18, 2021, by Roadside Attractions.