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Lin-Manuel Miranda on his first viewing of “West Side Story”

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Lin-Manuel Miranda describes discovering Rita Moreno and seeing “West Side Story” for the first time, and realizing it was about Puerto Rican New Yorkers. “It was a gamechanger.”

TRANSCRIPT

- I had never seen West Side Story.

I'd heard of it because you just hear of it.

It just lives in the world, like West Side Story.

And I remember my mother renting the VHS for us and I sat and watched it next to my mother at home.

And then, there's Rita, who is the sexiest thing alive, is such an incredible actress, and in the middle of this musical number about whether life is better for Puerto Ricans in Puerto Rico or New York, and as a kid who grew up in New York and whose parents were born in Puerto Rico, I was like West Side Story's about this?

This is what, why have you been keeping it from me for 12 years?

I was 12 years old.

And it was a game changer.

And so that's the first time I encountered Rita Moreno.

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