Nicole Kidman on Why Playing Lucille Ball Is 'Way Out' of Her Comfort Zone

Even Nicole Kidman can feel a little out of her depth taking on a role! The actress opened up about her role as Lucille Ball in the Aaron Sorkin-directed biopic Being the Ricardos to Chris Rock for Variety's Actors on Actors, saying that while she has taken on a number of different accents for roles over the last year, the I Love Lucy star's was one of the most challenging to grasp.

"I've had to put in an enormous amount of time on Lucille Ball right now, because she has a very particular way of speaking," Kidman shared of preparing for her role opposite Javier Bardem, playing the role of Ball's husband, Desi Arnaz. "She is up there…I am way out of my comfort zone right now, Chris. I'm free-falling."

When news broke that Kidman was cast as Ball, there was a wave of skepticism from fans of the iconic comedian and other actresses vying for the part, but Ball and Arnaz's daughter believed Kidman was the correct choice from the start. "The strange thing about Lucille Ball is that everyone thinks we're remaking the I Love Lucy Show, and it's so not that," Kidman explained. "It's about Lucy and Desi and their relationship and their marriage. It's very deep, actually."

Speaking on how revolutionary Ball was in the entertainment world, Kidman said, "She was a trailblazer. She formed her production company. Desi was Cuban, and she had to fight to get him on the show." Ball and Arnaz had "so many things in their marriage that are so relevant today," as well as the groundbreaking actress' business dealings "where you're up against big corporations. And you're like, 'No, this is art.'"


Sorkin previously opened up about Being the Ricardos to Entertainment Tonight, saying it was a common misconception that Kidman and Bardem would be playing Lucy and Ricky Ricardo. "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," he explained. "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."