Art of the Title: ‘Do the Right Thing’

Art of the Title on the iconic opening to Spike Lee’s film, featuring a then largely unknown Rosie Perez:

But while Ann-Margret looks delighted as she belts out her musical farewell, Perez looks anything but. She is hard and strong and determined. She never smiles. This is because much of her on-screen anger was real. The shoot for Do The Right Thing’s opening took place on a soundstage in Brooklyn which had a concrete floor, and Lee insisted on numerous takes, encouraging Perez to continuously bring more intensity to her dancing. Her back went out, she injured her knees. By the time they wrapped, she was using crutches.