Fans had mixed emotions after it was announced that Nicole Kidman was going to be playing the role of Lucille Ball in Being the Ricardos. Several felt Will & Grace star Debra Messing should have filled the role, including Messing herself. However, now, Aaron Sorkin is breaking his silence on his thoughts when casting the Big Little Lies actress instead.
"I think that the people thought that we've cast them as Lucy and Ricky Ricardo," Sorkin said to Entertainment Tonight. "The film takes place during a production week of I Love Lucy — a Monday table read for Friday audience taping, with a whole bunch of long flashbacks which are telling the story that go 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."
Messing responded to commenters who shared their thoughts on the topic, agreeing that she felt she should have been picked. In fact, the actress dressed up as Ball during an episode of Will & Grace and was even given a few words of encouragement by Ball's daughter, Lucy Arnaz. "I was in the green dress. We were about to shoo the song and dance [number] and she walked in and she just looked at me and didn't say anything," Messing said. "Then she hugged me and she said, 'This feels really good. It's been a long time since I've hugged you,' and everyone started to cry."
Messing continued, "And then she smiled and she said, 'I know how long you've been wanting to do this, Debra. And I'm so glad we were able to make it happen. And then I had to go [to the stage]. As I walked away, she said, 'Break a leg, Mom.' everybody just flipped out and cried. It was really moving." While Arnaz embraced Messing in the role, she also gave Sorkin and the cast of the upcoming biopic her blessing as well.
"I really appreciated it, because it wasn't a video I could send," Sorkin said. "[I'm used to] people making assumptions about what it is and having an opinion about what it is not only before they've seen it, before we've even made it."