Nicole Kidman says she wanted to pull out of playing Lucille Ball after Being the Ricardos backlash

‘Everyone thinks I’m not right, so I’m going to try to sidestep this,’ said the actor

Ellie Harrison
Friday 03 December 2021 07:59
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Being The Ricardos

Nicole Kidman has admitted she “tried to sidestep” playing Lucille Ball in Being the Ricardos after the backlash to her casting.

After the Daily Mail published images of Kidman on the set of Being the Ricardos in April this year, many took to social media to say they thought the actor had been miscast in the role.

During a recent appearance on Live with Kelly and Ryan, the actor said: “I wasn’t initially [anxious]. Initially it’s like, Aaron Sorkin wrote this screenplay that you read and you cannot put down. And I say to people, ‘If you can get your hands on this screenplay, read it, because it’s such a good read.’ It’s as good as a great novel.”

She added: “When the reality of playing her hit me, I went, ‘What I have said yes to?’ To which I then went, ‘Oh no, I’m not right. Everyone thinks I’m not right, so I’m going to try to sidestep this.’”

Kidman said the production team refused to let critics put her off. “The producer Todd Black and [director] Aaron Sorkin were both like, ‘Absolutely not,’” she said. “I was in Australia and they were like, ‘No.’ And thank God, because then I was so grateful because I got to fall in love with her.”

Sorkin previously said he wanted Kidman for the role because he wanted someone who could “nod to” the character rather than “do a physical impersonation”.

Being the Ricardos, directed by Aaron Sorkin, also stars Javier Bardem as Desi Arnaz, Ball’s first husband. The film’s title is a reference to Lucy and Ricky Ricardo, the characters portrayed by Ball and Arnaz in the classic sitcom I Love Lucy, which aired between 1951 and 1957.

The movie takes place over the course of one week of production of I Love Lucy, and sees Ball and Arnaz face two crises – one which could jeopardise their careers, and one which could jeopardise their marriage.

Being the Ricardos is out in the UK on 10 December.

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