By six, she had been dancing in Greenwich Village nightclubs. By 16, she had been working full time.

From the documentary “Rita Moreno: Only a Girl Who chose to Proceed,” Norman Lear states:”I can not consider anybody I’ve ever met in the company who lived the American dream over Rita Moreno.”

(Her whole acceptance speech: “I can not think it.” ) With apparently infinite spiritedness, she’s epitomized the very best of show business whilst also being a prey into its cruelties. That’s made Moreno, that co-stars at Steven Spielberg’s forthcoming”West Side Story movie, a heroic figure to Latinos, also others. “I have not given up,” she explained in a recent interview by withdrawing from her home in Berkeley, California.

The main reason behind the dialogue was Mariem Pérez Riera’s romantic and invigorating documentary, which opens in theatres Friday after playing almost in the Sundance Film Festival and within an outside premiere at the Tribeca Festival. The movie opens with Moreno preparing a Cuban themed celebration for the 87th birthday. “And I need costumes,” the display legend states with a grin.

However, as optimistic as Moreno stays,”Only a Girl Who chose to Go for It” also deals honestly with the numerous turbulences of Moreno’s life: being put as the”Spanish Elizabeth Taylor” along with the stereotyped projecting that followed; a very long and painful relationship with Marlon Brando; the misuse of her representative; a limiting union.

Moreno was also forthright in an interview with The Associated Press while sometimes reaching for a tissue to get springtime allergies. “All that cocaine,” that the 89-year-old joked. Opinions have been edited for clarity and brevity.

AP: What struck me watching the movie is that despite going through what could conquer or embitter all, you appear to have emerged with such appreciation and joy for life.

MORENO: I’ve a very strong constitution. Perhaps it’s because of figuring out how to handle my tumultuous life . I actually credit that for assisting me through a few really, very bad times. My mother was like this, also. I’ve a feeling a great deal of individuals that are outliers have strong constitutions as it is either sink or float, right? And I believe you understand early on in life that swimming is better than sinking.