Rita Moreno on Reuniting With 'One Day at a Time' Cast and Not Losing Faith
Puerto Rican icon Rita Moreno talks to People CHICA about the hilarious new season of One Day at a Time on Pop TV and shares her perspective on the coronavirus pandemic.
Reuniting with the cast of One Day at a Time a year and a half after they wrapped filming the show for Netflix was an unforgettable experience for Rita Moreno. "It was so fabulous, it was like we were never gone. Since we started with this series, we've had an amazing chemistry," she tells People CHICA. "All people always say, 'Oh, we get along wonderfully and we love each other,' and they are usually lying, but we really do. We are like a familia. Perhaps because we all speak Spanish and share a really deep connection."
The new season on the show, now on Pop TV, — is hilarious, Moreno assures. "We laugh a lot. There is an episode about masturbation. It's a very serious subject and nobody wants to talk about it because they're embarrassed," says Moreno, who plays the larger-than-life grandma Lydia. "Lydia is a diva, she really thinks she is God's gift to men. She is full of theatrics and full of drama. The audience goes crazy when she goes through those curtains," she adds, referencing the show's live audience. When Norman Lear and producer Gloria Caldéron Kellett approached her about playing Lydia, she said, "Even though she is a grandma she has to be a sexual being. They loved the idea and that's why they made Lydia such a relentless and shameless flirt. She is always flirting with her daughter's boyfriends!"
In the fourth season of the beloved show, Grandma Lydia talks to her granddaughter Elena (played by Isabella Gomez) about the magic of an orgasm and opens a Tinder account for her daughter Penelope (played by Justina Machado), who is a single mom hoping to find love after her husband's death. The show continues to push boundaries and break stereotypes. "If someone like [Lydia] who is so religious — and she is, she has pictures of the Pope in her bedroom — if someone like that can forgive her granddaughter for being gay, then you know she loves this family, she loves that child," she says.
Moreno, 88, is making the most of her time in quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic. "I'm having an excellent time because this hiatus has given me time to do something I love, which is reorganizing my house," says the Puerto Rican actress, who also enjoys gardening and watching the series Ozark.
She also shared her perspective on the pandemic, emphasizing that it's important to follow social distancing. "I send advice to people about how to be careful with this virus, things like: when you get the mail, don't use your hands, use gloves. People forget that the mail goes through many hands like canned foods, so I wash everything with soap and water," she says. She has also been sharing her experience on social media.
"You can’t cover my mouth ... I’m Puerto Rican!!!" she joked on Instagram, sharing a photo of herself in full protective gear, wearing gloves and a mask. "The news is heartbreaking," she says, stressing that now is a time for solidarity. "We really have to think of each other, not just ourselves."
For more information on COVID-19, please visit the official website of the CDC.