With an Oscar, an Emmy, a Tony and a Grammy to her credit, Rita Moreno is easily one of the most revered performers of our time. Yet, according to Elizabeth Peña who co-stars with the 69-year-old West Side Story star on Showtime's Resurrection Blvd. Moreno hardly behaves like the esteemed acting legend that she is between takes.
"She would moon me," Peña, 41, laughs to TV Guide Online, adding that, "She is the humblest, most down-to-earth person I have ever met. I adore her."
These days, Peña has a lot to be happy about when it comes to her cable series, which, in its second season, is focusing more on bussing than boxing. Also, in an effort to broaden the Latino drama's appeal, producers have tapped former Beverly Hills, 90210 hunk Brian A. Green to play a cop. "The more the merrier," says Peña. "I unfortunately haven't had any scenes with [Brian] as of yet, but I would love to work with him. He's a beautiful person and I think a really good actor."
Peña takes issue, however, with critics who say Showtime's "No Limits" slogan is just a euphemism for "No Clothes." "'No Limits' does not mean everybody shows their breasts, which seems to be a motif with cable," she groans. "There's other ways to push the limits, and I think they're doing it this season."
During her hiatus from Blvd., Peña hungered for an acting challenge and found one opposite Hector Elizondo in the indie comedy-drama Tortilla Soup (opening Aug. 31). The film an English-language remake of 1994's Eat Drink Man Woman revolves around a busy family that reunites every Sunday for dinner.
"The food is definitely the lead," Peña admits. "Out of politeness, I waited for the credits to end, but all I [really] wanted to do was run out of that theater to the nearest, fanciest, most expensive, most gourmet restaurant and eat until I was blue in the face."