Rita Moreno Was ‘Moved’ First Time She Saw 2024 Oscar Ceremony Clip of Her Win: ‘It Brought It Back With a Slam’

Before actress Rita Moreno set foot on the Oscar stage Sunday night, she experienced an emotional wallop during rehearsals. As the actress was brought onstage alongside four other previous Best Supporting Actress winners, clips of each attendee’s previous win briefly played.

For Moreno, seeing her 1962 Oscar win for her role of Anita in “West Side Story” showcased on-stage “moved” her immensely. “I was very moved when we were in rehearsals and those big screens came down showing each of us holding the Oscar,” Moreno told TheWrap. “I saw mine, which was a very long time [ago], in ’62. [I was] very young with dark hair. It was all very, very touching to me. It really brought it back with a slam.”

The actress was there to celebrate fellow Oscar nominee America Ferrera, herself nominated for “Barbie.” Moreno said she’d hoped that Ferrera would win the award, but regardless, said it was “a fabulous year for women and not women who were glamour pusses.”

When discussing what she was going to say to Ferrera, Moreno said she’d initially planned to go bolder. “It was tempting to get tricky with it,” said Moreno. “And I thought, ‘No, I’m gonna be very simple.’ The only thing I did was I said, ‘America’ — because that’s how the speech started — but I did it with a Puerto Rican accent.”

“What a wonderful concept,” Moreno said in regards to bringing out past Oscar winners to introduce this year’s nominees. “I thought that was so respectful.” Moreno did worry that, while she was rocking a Badgley Mischka dress, she might have to compete alongside the other equally luminous actresses on-stage. “Being an actress I thought, ‘Whose gown am I going to have to compete with on this stage?’ I imagined immediately Lupita [Nyong’o] because she’s always had the most beautiful gowns,” Moreno said.

Moreno is currently promoting her new feature “The Prank,” wherein she plays a mean-spirited schoolteacher with a dark secret.

“The Prank” is in theaters March 15.

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