Hearing it all. It wouldn’t be easy for anyone to play the role of iconic comedian Lucille Ball in Being the Ricardos — and critics have been quick to judge since Nicole Kidman was cast.
Kidman, 54, portrays the five-time Emmy winner, who was not only known for her hilarious comedy but also for her very specific look. The Moulin Rouge star tried her best to ignore the judgmental commenters who didn’t think she was the right person for the role.
“I tried not to [listen], but I’m a human being, so there’s time when you go, ‘Gosh, maybe I’m not the right person for this,’” the Oscar winner said on the Today show on Monday, December 20, during a joint interview with her costar Javier Bardem. “That’s where having somebody like [writer and director] Aaron [Sorkin], who really said at the beginning, he was like, ‘I’m not wanting a perfect rendition or imitation of Lucy. No, no, no, no, no.’”
Instead, the Newsroom creator, 60, wanted to find the spirit of the late I Love Lucy star — something the Big Little Lies alum was able to tap into.
“A lot of it I can relate to, and I go ‘Ah, OK, I’ve been in that situation. I know that.’ So, I think those things were relatable,” Kidman explained. “There’s a scene in it where they say, ‘You’re 39, and that’s it. It’s kind of over for you.’ I know that feeling. I sort of had that. And it was like, OK. Where television suddenly opened a door for her, it opened a door for me. Around the same age, I was like, ‘Gosh, that’s kind of — I know that feeling really deeply.'”
While there is always negativity online, there’s one person who came to the Australia native’s defense: Lucy and Desi Arnaz’s daughter, Lucie Arnaz.
“Here’s the deal. You should understand, we are not doing a remake of I Love Lucy. No one has to impersonate Lucy Ricardo,” Lucie, 70, said in a Facebook video posted in January. “It’s the story of Lucille Ball, my actual mother, not Lucy Ricardo, and her husband, Dezi 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.”
Bardem, 52, has always been supportive of his costar, sharing with the Today show earlier this month that the first time he saw the Bombshell star in character, he was speechless.
“I was doing my test with wardrobe, the hair, the makeup, and then she came in … and there was a silence,” he said at the time. “They really nailed the look of Lucy Ricardo, no? And I felt, ‘Well, here is my wife. Hi. This is your husband. Whether you like it or not, this is your husband.'”
Being the Ricardos is in theaters now and available on Amazon Tuesday, December 21.
For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on YouTube!