“West Side Story” actress Rita Moreno, who has been on stages and screens for decades, has come forth in sharing her story of recently making some new friends in rapper Ludacris and former NFL star Marshawn Lynch. Moreno met the two while working on a pair of films.
In the 10th film from the popular “Fast & Furious” movie franchise, “Fast X,” Ludacris plays Tej Parker while the 91-year-old entertainer takes on the role of Abuela Toretto, the grandmother of Vin Diesiel’s character, Dom. The film also stars Tyrese Gibson.
Moreno met Lynch while filming the comedy “80 for Brady” with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. Lynch reportedly made an appearance as himself in “80 for Brady.” During a recent appearance on “The View,” Moreno discussed both of her new roles and her new friendships.
The EGOT winner told hosts Whoopi Goldberg, Sara Haines, Joy Behar, Sunni Hostin and Alyssa Farah Griffin that she exchanges text messages with her new friends, Ludacris and Lynch. After Hostin noted that Ludacris — whose legal name is Chris Bridges — had appeared on the show recently and praised Moreno, Moreno described how nervous she was when they first met.
“When I went into rehearsal for that scene, it was freezing cold out,” she recalled Moreno at the 5:29 mark of the interview. “We were shooting in London, we’re supposed to be in my backyard in L.A. I noticed that Chris was there. I thought, that can’t be him. And it was! I said, ‘Are you Chris?’ And he said ‘yes,’ and I said, ‘Hi! Hellooo,’ and now we’ve become text buddies!”
She also revealed that she had become text buddies with Lynch after meeting him on “80 for Brady,” saying, “And then also, what’s his? I always get his name wrong, Mansion Lynch, the football player; we’re text buddies also.”
Goldberg noted that the actress picked up men everywhere she went, prompting Moreno to say matter-of-factly, “I like my Black boys,” to which Hostin replied, “Yeah, I do, too.” Goldberg also interjected and said, “And they like you, too!”
Moreno, Ludacris and Lynch couldn’t be more opposite in terms of their respective careers. Moreno is an actress, singer and dancer with EGOT status and was the first Latina to win an Oscar. She won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in “West Side Story” in 1962. She also won a Grammy in 1972 for the children’s show, “The Electric Company,” the Best Actress Tony Award for “The Ritz” in 1975 and an Emmy in 1977 for her appearance on “The Muppet Show.”
Ludacris is a three-time Grammy Award-winning artist who has performed on stages around the world. He has played in dozens of movies, including several of the “Fast & Furious” films.
Lynch played 12 seasons in the NFL as a running back for the Buffalo Bills and the Oakland Raiders. Nicknamed “Beastmode,” he has served as reporter/analyst for Prime Video’s Thursday Night Football broadcasts.
Moreno also spoke about witnessing gospel singer Mahalia Jackson telling Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to speak about “the dream” before his legendary “I Have A Dream” speech during the March on Washington in 1963. The talented performer revealed at the 3:30 mark that Jackson tugged on his jacket as he spoke and said, “Tell him about the dream, Martin.”
“Fast X” will hit movie theaters on Friday.