Lucy is such an enigmatic, show-stopping character that it’s difficult to imagine how anyone could effectively capture her. She’s a legend. So, when I first heard that Nicole Kidman was tapped to play Lucy (Lucille Ball) in Prime’s new Being the Ricardos (set to release Dec 10 on Prime), I was a bit skeptical.
Yeah, sure, I know Kidman is an award-winning actress. She’s won an Academy Award, a British Academy Film Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, two Primetime Emmy Awards and five Golden Globe Awards. She’s famous and I’ve seen her slip into all manner of roles. We all have. But, could she really become Lucy?
So, what’s the big deal? I’ve been a fan of Lucille Ball for as long as I can remember. So, just to be clear, the new movie offers insight into the lives of Lucille Ball (Nicole Kidman) and Desi Arnaz (Javier Bardem). So technically, we’re not seeing Lucy and Ricky Ricardo, aside from a few moments. Director Aaron Sorkin says, “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.”
It’s Nicole Kidman!
When asked to take on the role, Kidman reportedly told them, “I would love to give it a go.” She says, “I love Lucille, having looked now and delved into her. She’s an amazing woman.” She admits that she learned so much about Lucille and that she didn’t know any of it. But a huge part of why Being the Ricardos is already receiving such rave reviews is because of how Sorkin interpreted the material and made it his own.
In a Facebook video, Lucie Arnaz, Lucille’s daughter, said, “Here’s the deal. You should understand. 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.” It’s just about being true to the characters and trying to bring those epic characters to life in some small way.
Thumbs Up from Lucy’s Daughter
Arnaz says of the film, “It’s freaking amazing.” Of the director, she says, “That guy made a great movie. He captured the essence of that time in their lives so well. He captured the heart of my mother, my father, their relationship. He captured the love between those players of the I Love Lucy show. He captured the tension of that particular week when all hell broke loose.”
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Arnaz says, “Nicole Kidman became my mother’s soul. She crawled into her head. I don’t know how you do that. She cared very deeply about this part. It shows. And I believed everything she said. She looks beautiful.” Arnaz famously co-starred with her mom in Here’s Lucy, from 1968 until 1974.
She sees the message of I Love Lucy as: “The people who love us truly love us, allow us to get into terrible situations and make big fools of ourselves, get into trouble, and at the end of the day, they go, ‘Come here,’ and they hug you and they love you and life goes on.” That syncs up well with the message of Being the Ricardos, particularly at a time that’s so important to Lucy’s legacy.
The I Love Lucy Show is celebrating 70 years since it first made its debut on CBS. So, it’s the perfect time for Being the Ricardos to arrive. I Love Lucy was so brilliantly written, and Lucy and Ricardo had such wonderful chemistry on the screen. Is it really any surprise that we’re still talking about it and looking for ways to capture the energy of the greatest comedy show of all time?
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What are your thoughts about the new movie about Lucy and Desi? Are you excited to see how the characters come to life? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
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