Nicole Kidman will portray the famous Lucille Ball in the forthcoming drama film Being the Ricardos, a casting choice met with quite a bit of controversy as some I Love Lucy fans felt that Debra Messing would have been the better choice. Despite the backlash, Kidman chose to focus on the opportunity of a lifetime to tell the story of the legendary actress who was loved by so many. During an exclusive interview with PopCulture.com, Tony Hale, who's starring as Jess Oppenheimer in the film, had nothing but wonderful things to say about Kidman while the two worked on set together.
"Nicole Kidman playing Lucille Ball was pretty cool to watch," Hale said while promoting his upcoming film Nine Days (out July 30). "And Javier Bardem play Desi, I just kind of felt like I had a, I kind of had a moment where I was like, 'Which one of these is not like the other, why am I here?' But I kind of had a front row seat to see that transformation, and (writer/director) Aaron Sorkin, it was very, very exciting, I'm very grateful."
Shortly after it was announced that Kidman would take the role, she opened up about her initial thoughts on choosing this project. "I was like, 'Yeah, I would love to give it a go.' With Aaron's words and his direction and Javier ... that's kind of a wonderful prospect to, you know," she told Variety. "But yikes, off we go. Give it a go. Try my best — see if I can do it." In order to prepare for the movie, the actress admits she's been watching a lot of I Love Lucy as she does her best to nail down the actresses mannerisms.
"I love Lucille, having looked now and delved into her," she said. "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," she added. "I didn't know any of this."
While Kidman is attempting to do her best at it, Messing most definitely felt a bit betrayed when she wasn't given the opportunity, even though years prior she said she would not want to play the role of Lucille Ball if it ever came to it; however, she did do so on her famous show Will & Grace, and even got a nod from Ball's daughter Lucie Arnaz. That moment changed her mind on potentially continuing her character's role.