Rita Moreno felt lonely after she moved & made a friend at the supermarket

Family Switch is a holiday movie that just debuted on Netflix starring Jennifer Garner and Ed Helms. It’s basically Freaky Friday, but the whole family switches bodies: mother & daughter, father & son, and in a disturbing wrinkle, toddler & dog. The magical switcheroo seems to be set in motion by Rita Moreno taking a family photo. And that is how we were gifted with Rita talking to People Mag about a recent bout of loneliness (officially a global health issue) that led to an endearing meet-cute at the supermarket:

In an interview with PEOPLE, the actress and singer, who turns 92 on Dec. 11, recalls feeling “so sad” after she recently moved from her house in California’s Berkeley Hills area to a new condominium that she loves.

“It was affecting my appetite,” says Moreno, whose husband of 45 years, Leonard Gordon, passed away in 2010 at age 90.

“My daughter [jewelry designer Fernanda Luisa Gordon] noticed and she said, ‘What’s wrong?’ I said I didn’t know. I didn’t know what was wrong,” continues the West Side Story icon. “I really didn’t understand what was happening.”

“I remember thinking, ‘I can’t go on like this.’ I’m in the most beautiful apartment in the world as far as I’m concerned, and this is happening. Why is this happening?” she says.

“I took all my experience in therapy, psychotherapy, and just kind of punched it together and said, ‘What’s wrong? Something’s wrong, and it has to do with you since you moved,’” says Moreno, who stars in the new Netflix movie Family Switch.

It dawned on Moreno that although she has a loving network of friends and family — including her daughter and two grandsons — they’re not all nearby. “So when we make plans to see each other, we have to make plans, they can’t just kind of drop by,” she explains. “I was really lonely.”

“It’s the most fascinating thing to learn about yourself,” adds Moreno, who also realized she didn’t know how to make friends.

“I’ve never had to seek people’s company,” she explains. “You know why? Because people have always come to me.”

“One day I thought, ‘This is ridiculous. I have to meet some people,’” says Moreno. “That particular day when I made that decision, I went to the supermarket to do some shopping, and I ran into a lady who I kept running into, who’s lovely.”

“She had this big smile on her face, and she recognized me, obviously, and we started to talk. I said to her, ‘Would you like to have lunch with me?’” continues Moreno, who said she didn’t even know the woman’s name at the time.

“She said, ‘Lunch with you? Really?’ I said, ‘Yeah.’ She said, ‘Yeah.’ We went and had lunch,” according to Moreno. “She sat down and she said, ‘Do you always pick people up like this in the market?’”

“I told her the truth. I said, ‘No, but you always have struck me as such a lovely person. Since I’m new here and I don’t know anybody, I thought I’d take a dip.’”

Since then, the two have become pals. “She’s lovely,” says Moreno.

That woman is one of several folks Moreno has befriended. “I also met people from the apartment, the building, who are marvelous,” she says. “I’m so lucky.”

[From People]

The phrasing People went with at the beginning makes it sound like Rita’s loneliness was partially caused by the loss of her husband. May I kindly direct People back to (their own) interview where Rita says she “would rather eat glass” than get married again. Thank you, I just needed to clear that up.

Happy Almost Birthday, Rita! I don’t usually go the astrology route, but everything she says and does here is peak Sagittarius. The bluntness, the self-discovery, the philosophical questioning. Not to mention her casually (and hilariously) saying “I’ve never had to do the seeking before, they’ve always flocked to me!” and “She recognized me, obviously!” Yeah, we Sadges can be like that, for better and worse. I find her so adorable here! “Do you always pick people up like this in the market?” had me howling. I feel like if I tried to make a friend at my local Key Foods, though, it wouldn’t end up in a nice lunch and camaraderie, so much as a mugging. (Is my New York showing?) Hey Netflix, why don’t you make a holiday movie based on Rita’s supermarket story — and cast it age appropriately! That’s a movie I’d like to see.

Photos credit: Colleen Hayes/Netflix, Maurizio D’Avanzo/IPA/INSTARimages, Xavier Collin/Image Press Agency/ABACA/INSTARimages.com/Cover Images, Maria Laura Antonelli / AGF Foto / Avalo

Source: Read Full Article