In news that will surely spark a Debra Messing Twitter spree, Nicole Kidman has broken her silence on playing Lucille Ball in the upcoming Aaron Sorkin film.
Ever since the “Big Little Lies” star was cast as the comedy icon in Amazon’s “Being the Ricardos” alongside Javier Bardem, who will portray Ball’s first husband and “I Love Lucy” co-star Desi Arnaz, some fans believe whoever chose Kidman for the role has some ’splaining to do.
Messing, who essentially campaigned to replace her in the project, has led the charge, questioning Kidman’s comedic abilities and why she was chosen for the role.
Speaking with Variety in an interview published on Wednesday, Kidman gave some insight into her seemingly relatively relaxed process of inhabiting the pop culture legend.
“I was like, ‘Yeah, I would love to give it a go,’” Kidman told the outlet about being approached for the part. “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.”
For research, Kidman said she’s been screening episodes of “I Love Lucy,” as the film will reportedly take place over one week behind the scenes of the classic sitcom as the couple “face a crisis that could end their careers and another that could end their marriage.”
“I love Lucille, having looked now and delved into her,” she added. “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.”
While the naysayers likely won’t ever be satisfied with Kidman’s casting, she’s got one major player in her corner: Lucie Arnaz, the daughter of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.
In a short video posted on her Facebook page earlier this month, Arnaz, who once endorsed Messing for the role, addressed the casting controversy and defended Kidman.
Urging viewers to “trust the creative process” behind “Being the Ricardos,” she explained that ultimately the film isn’t about who can do the best impersonation of her parents.
“No one has to impersonate Lucy Ricardo nor do the Vitameatavegamin routine, or the chocolate factory routine or any of the silly things,” she said. “It’s the story of Lucille Ball, my actual mother, not Lucy Ricardo, and her husband, Desi Arnaz, my dad, not Ricky Ricardo.”
“Very little of the show is actually ‘I Love Lucy’-type stuff,” Arnaz continued. “I don’t think you will be disappointed with that, however. … It is a two-hour feature film about these two people and some of the remarkable things they lived through.”
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