‘Being the Ricardos’: Nicole Kidman Calls Playing Lucille Ball a ‘Freeing’ Experience

by John Jamison

We’re officially a week away from the limited release of Aaron Sorkin’s Being the Ricardos. And for all of the doubts surrounding Nicole Kidman’s casting as TV icon Lucille Ball, her own included, the Australian actor enjoyed the freedom in exploring what made the comedian tick.

That type of freedom is a motivating factor for many actors in the first place. Leaving one’s own personality behind to try someone else’s on for a few months, and being appreciated for it, sounds as freeing as it gets. At least, that’s how Nicole Kidman described her role in Being the Ricardos to AP Entertainment.

“I did not know that much about her. So the unfurling of her, for me, was a huge discovery. At the same time, it was incredibly freeing,” said Kidman.

At first, Kidman was nothing but excited about the opportunity to portray the I Love Lucy icon. However, criticism about Aaron Sorkin’s casting decision quickly caused second thoughts in the actor’s mind. After all, she’s a physical departure from the Lucy Ricardo star standing significantly taller.

“Being able to do, obviously, I’m 5″11,’ and I’m kind of gawky, I mean, she was a beautiful dancer, but she was a physical comedian. She could move and move her body and was willing to do anything, try anything to get a laugh. There is something so freeing about doing that.”

Nicole Kidman Has Lucie Arnaz’s Seal of Approval for ‘Being the Ricardos’

With all of the backlash, Nicole Kidman found reassurance not only in filmmaker Aaron Sorkin himself but also in Lucille Ball’s daughter.

With that extra confidence, the challenge of portraying someone so iconic became a positive, freeing experience. It has to help that Being the Ricardos doesn’t approach the story of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz from an impersonation standpoint.

“There seems to be a lot of discussion about ‘Nicole Kidman, it should be Debra Messing, it should be Carole Cook.'” Here’s the deal, what 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 … any of the silly things,” Lucie Arnaz told People recently.

Arnaz assures audiences that Nicole Kidman does an incredible job capturing the essential parts of Lucille Ball. She went so far as to say Kidman tapped into Ball’s soul. Take it from someone who knew the I Love Lucy star well and has already screened the movie.

“Just trust us, it’s going to be a nice film, and P.S. the voting is over,” Lucie continued.