“I love Lucille [Ball], having looked now and delved into her,” Nicole Kidman told Variety when discussing her role in Aaron Sorkin’s Being the Ricardos. Nicole, 53, will bring the I Love Lucy icon to life opposite Javier Bardem, who will portray Lucy’s husband, on-screen costar, and creative partner, Desi Arnaz. At first, news of Nicole landing the part was met with some skepticism and criticism from fans online, but Nicole swears she’ll put her all into the part. “I was like, ‘Yeah, I would love to give it a go,’” she told Variety. “With Aaron’s words and his direction and Javier … that’s kind of a wonderful prospect to, you know. But yikes, off we go. Give it a go. Try my best—see if I can do it.”
“She’s an amazing woman,” added the Big Little Lies actress. “I’m very excited for people to see what Aaron found out about her and the way he’s interpreted Desi and Lucy and the way that it’s so rich. I didn’t know any of this.” Being The Ricardos – which was written by Sorkin, who will also direct the film for Amazon Studios and Escape Artists – it set during one production week of I Love Lucy – when “Lucy and Desi face a crisis that could end their careers and another that could end their marriage,” per Deadline.
There was a crisis starting before Being The Ricardos even began shooting. Fans weren’t thrilled with Nicole being picked to play Lucy. Unsatisfied fans went online to voice their disapproval with the casting, which prompted Lucie Arnaz, the 69-year-old daughter of the late Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, to speak out and tell everyone to relax. “Nobody has to impersonate Lucy Ricardo nor do the Vitameatavegamin routine, or any of the silly things,” she said in a Facebook Video. “It’s the story of Lucille Ball, my actual mother, not Lucy Ricardo, and her husband, Desi Arnaz, my dad, not Ricky Ricardo.”
“There will be humor in the film, but it is a story of the two of them and how they met and what went right with finding the show, what went wrong, their relationship, their love affair,” she added. “Now, of course, it’s going to have I Love Lucy in it. As a matter of fact, Aaron Sorkin has set it on the stage of filming one week of rehearsal, rehearsing, and filming the show. But all this other stuff takes place during that time.”
“It’s not the whole story,” she continued. “It’s not a biopic from cradle to grave. It is a two-hour feature film about these two people and some of the remarkable things they lived through. So I hope I can set the record straight here and just say, stop arguing about who should play her… Just trust us, it’s going to be a nice film. P.S. the voting is over. I love all of you.”