FUNNY GIRL (WILLIAM WYLER, 1968)
MY FAVOURITE, favourite, favourite film of all time is West Side Story. It was a very important movie for me. The songs remind me of Thanksgiving, it always seemed to be on TV at that time of year. I love Rita Moreno as Anita, she won an Oscar and she was such an inspiration for me. I find myself sometimes picking up some of her mannerisms which I think is a beautiful thing. You could say she was the original Fly Girl. She's from a similar background to mine. I went from being a young girl in the Bronx with Latin parents with basically no connections to doing movies and now making my own album.
When you grow up in the Bronx it's such a separate world. I used to get on the Six and go to the city, the Six train that went from the Bronx to Manhattan. New York City seemed miles away, as far removed as London or Europe, but it's where all my dreams were.
I also love Funny Girl, it's my other favourite movie. It reminds me of my mother because she's a huge fan of Barbra Streisand. I think she also won an Academy Award as Fanny. When I was growing up, I always looked at people like her.
The film takes you back to the Forties and Fifties when performers and entertainers always sang, danced and acted. It's hard for some people to digest in this day and age when someone's an actor and they want to sing. A lot of people have done it, it's not unheard of. I always dreamt of having that type of career. We went away from that for a little while because the musical died but now you have Barbra Streisand, Cher and Bette Midler doing all three. I've always looked up to them.
I actually started my career in musical theatre before I started acting. And when I did the movie Selena it took me back to those favourites. When I'm singing I'm myself. When I act, I play characters. I've done a couple of cops, I've played a couple of killers. If I had to choose between acting and singing and dancing, I don't think I could.