Nicole Kidman is ‘going to be fantastic’ as Lucille Ball, says Being The Ricardos director Aaron Sorkin.
The Trial Of The Chicago 7 helmer spoke out about casting Oscar winners Kidman and Javier Bardem as I Love Lucy icons Ball and Desi Arnaz in his upcoming biopic for Amazon.
‘I think that the people thought that we’ve cast them as Lucy and Ricky Ricardo,’ Sorkin told Entertainment Tonight.
Fantastic casting: Nicole Kidman is ‘going to be fantastic’ as Lucille Ball, Being The Ricardos director Aaron Sorkin told Entertainment Tonight about the star of his upcoming biopic
Next project: The Trial Of The Chicago 7 helmer Sorkin spoke out about casting Oscar winners Kidman and Javier Bardem as I Love Lucy icons Ball and Desi Arnaz in Being The Ricardos
‘The film takes place during a production week of I Love Lucy – a Monday table read to Friday audience taping, with a whole bunch of long flashbacks which are telling the story that got us here,’ he said.
‘And because there’s a table read, there’s rehearsals and then there’s tape night, we do see moments of them being Lucy and Ricky Ricardo.
‘We see moments from an episode of I Love Lucy. But mostly they are playing Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball. And they’re going to be fantastic. These are two of the greatest actors ever,’ he added.
Nicole’s casting also got the seal of approval from Lucille and Desi’s daughter Lucie Arnaz, who posted a Facebook video giving her two cents following online criticism over the choice.
Lucie acknowledged: ‘There seems to be a lot of discussion about Nicole Kidman. “It should be Debra Messing!” “It should be Carole Cook!” I don’t know.’
‘We are not doing a remake of I Love Lucy. No one has to impersonate Lucy Ricardo, nor do the Vitameatavegamin routine or the chocolate factory routine or any of the silly things,’ she added.
Best choices: Sorkin called Nicole (seen here in 2020) and co-star Javier Bardem ‘two of the greatest actors ever’
Plot: Sorkin said ‘the film takes place during a production week of I Love Lucy… with a whole bunch of long flashbacks which are telling the story that got us here’; Ball is seen here in 1955
Making her side known: Nicole’s casting received a seal of approval from Lucille and Desi’s daughter Lucie Arnaz who posted a Facebook video giving her two cents
Lucie stated: ‘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.’
Sorkin told Entertainment Tonight he was grateful to receive her support.
‘I really appreciated it, because it wasn’t a video I could send,’ he said.
‘[I’m used to] people making assumptions about what it is and having an opinion about what it is not only before they’ve seen it, before we’ve even made it!… You can leverage those expectations by then giving people something that’s a lot better than what they thought that they were going to get.’
Baby mine: Lucy and Desi are pictured in 1952, the year after their iconic sitcom began, helping little Lucie celebrate her first birthday
Hunk: Oscar winner Javier Bardem will play Desi, who starred on I Love Lucy as Lucy’s bandleader husband Ricky Ricardo and had a tumultuous marriage to her in real life
‘Lucy and Desi were madly in love with each other. Madly, madly in love with each other. They also often wanted to kill each other. There was very interesting friction in this relationship, the West Wing creator said about the famous couple.
‘There’s also a big thing that a lot of people don’t know about Lucille Ball, which gets dramatized in this,’ he continued.
Rounding out the cast is J.K. Simmons as William Frawley and Nina Arianda as Vivian Vance, the actors who played Fred and Ethel Mertz on I Love Lucy.
Being The Ricardos is set to start filming in April with an intended release in 2022.
Casting: Rounding out the cast is J.K. Simmons as William Frawley and Nina Arianda as Vivian Vance, the actors who played Fred and Ethel Mertz on I Love Lucy
The rest of the crew: William Frawley and Vivian Vance starred on I Love Lucy as Fred and Ethel Mertz, the Ricardos’ best friends and confidants; they are seen here in 1951
The Moulin Rouge star recently broke her silence about preparing for the role of a lifetime.
‘I love Lucille, having looked now and delved into her,’ the 53-year-old told Variety about screening old I Love Lucy episodes to get ready.
‘She’s an amazing woman. 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,’ she confessed.
Nicole has been having a career renaissance with her Emmy-winning turn in Big Little Lies and her current Golden Globe-nominated work on The Undoing.
Big fan: The current Golden Globe nominee recently told Variety ‘I love Lucille’ and said she is watching old episodes to get ready for the film shoot
Family photo: Lucille first filed for divorce from Desi in 1944 but they reconciled and then had their two children before the couple split up permanently in 1960
Desi, who played Lucy’s bandleader husband Ricky Ricardo on their program, had a tumultuous marriage to her in real life.
She filed for divorce for the first time in 1944, reportedly over his philandering and drinking, but they got back together before splitting up permanently in 1960.
In the meantime they produced two children and the sitcom that etched them into TV legend, running from 1951 to 1957.
Blended family: Lucy married Borscht Belt comic Gary Morton in 1961 and stayed with him until her death in 1989; the couple are pictured with Lucie and Desi Jr. in 1965
They also starred in movies together throughout their marriage, including Forever, Darling and the Vincente Minnelli comedy The Long, Long Trailer.
Despite their divorce, in which she called their marriage ‘a nightmare,’ Lucy and Desi remained publicly amicable for the rest of his life.
Lucy married Borscht Belt comic Gary Morton in 1961 and stayed with him until her death in 1989, while Desi married one Edith Hirsch in 1963.
Edith and Desi both died of cancer one year apart – she passed on in 1985 and her husband, who loved cigars from his native Cuba, succumbed to lung cancer in 1986.
Remember when: Lucille and Desi are pictured on the iconic sitcom which ran from 1951 to 1957