Iconic actor Rita Moreno appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! January 31 ahead of the third season of her Netflix series One Day at a Time. A re-envisioned reboot of Norman Lear’s sitcom, the show features Moreno as matriarchal grandmother Lydia, who lives with her daughter and two grandkids.
Moreno first signed on to the show when Lear asked her about it in person. “We were at a political dinner—I didn't know him personally—and he said, ‘I'm coming back to television; would you do this show?‘ and I instantly said, ‘Absolutely,’” she recalled. “About ten minutes later I said, ‘Wait, what is it about?’ But it was with him.“
The third season premieres February 8 on the streaming service and will included a guest spot from Gloria Estefan (On Your Feet!). As for playing Lydia, Moreno says, “I love the character I play because she is really a diva. She's so dramatic, so theatrical.
“When I spoke to Norman on the phone [before filming], I said, ‘There is one condition and if it's not met then maybe we don’t work together.’ I said, ‘I know she's an older woman. I know she's a grandma, but she has to be sexual.’”
Moreno also talked about her time on The Electric Company and appearing on the cover of Life magazine—which launched her deal with Fox studio.
The actor has had an illustrious stage screen career, most famously starring as Anita in Jerome Robbins’ film West Side Story, for which she won the Academy Award. She will return to the musical to play Valentina, a reimagining of the character Doc, in the upcoming new film adaptation.