Nicole Kidman is gunning for her next Oscar nomination as Lucille Ball in Aaron Sorkin's upcoming film, Being the Ricardos. According to The New York Post, Being the Ricardos will "take place during a Monday night table read and live-audience shoot of an I Love Lucy episode when Lucy and Desi’s relationship nearly unravels." Filming is now underway, and photos from the set leaked of Kidman rocking Ball's signature red curls.
Kidman was cast in January after Cate Blanchett dropped out, and Javier Bardem will star opposite The Undoing actress as Desi Arnaz. Sorkin commented on her casting in February, explaining that people might have the wrong expectations about what the film will be. "I think that the people thought that we've cast them as Lucy and Ricky Ricardo," Sorkin explained to Entertainment Tonight. "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 — 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."
"I was like, 'Yeah, I would love to give it a go,'" Kidman said to Variety about her casting. "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."
"I love Lucille, having looked now and delved into her," she continued. "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 there was some backlash to Kidman's casting, Ball and Arnaz's daughter, Lucie Arnaz, gave Kidman her blessing in a Facebook video. "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," Arnaz explained, saying that "it’s going to be a nice film." Arnaz praised Sorkin's vision, saying that he "has done a wonderful job of bringing these characters to life, and it's just a little soupçon. It’s a little slice of life in their journey."