When 81-year-old Broadway legend Chita Rivera spoke with the San Francisco Chronicle to promote her upcoming appearances at the Fairmont, you might have expected her to talk about her work in West Side Story, Nine, or Kiss of the Spider Woman. Less expected, perhaps, was her announcement of a role that has yet been out of reach: that of a zombie on AMC drama The Walking Dead.

"Just this last week I was watching the show with my daughter, and I told her that I would be a zombie in a minute if they'd let me," Rivera told the Chron. "I'd really like to be a walker."

Rivera, who broke ground for Hispanic women in the worlds of dance and musical theatre, has more credits that we can count, including roles in the original Broadway cast of Bye, Bye Birdie, West Side Story (she was Anita before Rita Moreno was), and Chicago (she was the first Velma Kelly, the character Catherine Zeta-Jones played in the film). She's been nominated for nine Tony awards, and has won twice. She was the first Hispanic woman to be awarded a Kennedy Center Honor, and received the the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009.

And now she wants to play a zombie (the show calls them "walkers" or "biters")! AMC, are you listening? Surely somebody knows somebody who has connections at The Walking Dead? Because we gotta make this happen.

Rivera appears in Chita: A Legendary Celebration at the Fairmont on Sunday, February 23.

[Chita: A Legendary Celebration]