A year ago Rita Moreno confessed that “she grew up thinking she wasn’t worth much”, on the occasion of the premiere of Rita Moreno: Just a girl who decided to go for it (“Rita Moreno: just a girl who decided to go all out”). Her childhood and maturity were marked by the racism of the time, machismo and poverty. She was able to get rid of the latter thanks to the fact that her efforts led her to participate in the Hollywood production West Side Story. However, the macho treatment continued to play a role in her life when she met actor Marlon Brando, when she was 22 years old, on the set of the biographical film about Napoleon Desiree, and with whom she had such a toxic relationship that it made her reach her limit. “I tried to end my life after being mistreated by him. And I did not understand anything. I wanted to kill that pathetic, sad, downtrodden Rita. But it was just that. She stayed in an attempt ”, she has now admitted in an interview for Variety with actress Jessica Chastain.
“It was very exciting to be with Marlon,” said Moreno. “He was extraordinary in many, many ways, but he was a bad man. He was a bad man when it came to women”, pointed out the Puerto Rican, who already told last December in a talk on the American program The View that the actor’s infidelities became routine for her.
This time the 90-year-old actress has explained that he was trying to hide his status as a “womanizer”, but that he always ended up confessing to Moreno all those external relationships to the couple he had. “Every time he lied to me, I would look at him and say, ‘Marlon, look at me.’ And he began to sketch, I don’t want to use a bad word, that smile “, the interpreter recalled. “I could read it like a book. This is why he loved me and mistreated me in so many ways.” A treatment that led to her vital exhaustion and to wanting to disappear. “I tried to end my life with pills in his house. This is how I tried to do it”, she has confessed.
After the breakup, Moreno and Brando went back to work together in the night of the next day (1969), a situation that he took advantage of to try to resume their romance. The actress, for her part, was already married to the cardiologist Leonard Gordon, with whom she had her only daughter, Fernanda, and she did not give in to her request. She has stressed that he “had changed a lot.” “He had lost a big part of himself, I think. The good part of him, the good Marlon that Rita loved. It was very complicated. Very, very complicated”, lamented the Puerto Rican, who has recognized that what kept her with Brando for so long was that “he was the king of movies. He was truly one of the most sexual men on Earth. It was one of those very tempestuous love affairs.” An adventure that came to an end after eight years of long suffering.
The actress returned to the screens at the end of 2021 for her participation in the new version of West Side Story by Steven Spielberg, where relevant changes were applied. Weeks before the premiere last December, Moreno recalled the anger caused by the lack of diversity of that first filming in the early sixties. Many of the actors were made up with tobacco-colored shoe polish, something that seemed nonsense to him because it did not represent the skin tones of an island rich in Spanish, Taino, black and Dutch indigenous heritage. Although the original tape was praised by the press, the Puerto Rican has come to affirm that she never agreed with the criticism.