There has been an ongoing debate over Nicole Kidman’s casting in Being the Ricardos. And the actress is now weighing in with her own opinions.
In a Sunday New York Times piece, the Oscar-winning actress spoke about some public displeasure over her role as Lucille Ball in the Amazon original that highlights the comedian’s professional and personal life.
On social media, fans of Ball have complained that Kidman does not resemble the actress. And before the movie began filming, they urged director Aaron Sorkin to boot Kidman and replace her with someone more suited for the role—someone like Debra Messing.
And the Big Little Lies star admitted that she learned about the outcry shortly after it began.
“I’m not on the internet, and I definitely don’t Google myself,” she said. “But things trickle through.”
According to the piece, Nicole Kidman’s performance in Being the Ricardos is “an occasional source of insecurity for her.” And the online chatter has only worsened her anxiety.
The casting arguments began after Amazon aired its first promo for the film. In it, Kidman’s face only made a short appearance. Nevertheless, that was enough to spur on the drama.
During the interview, NYT writer Dave Itzkoff asked the actress why the studio chose not to spotlight her in the clip.
“I don’t know how to answer that, you know?” replied Kidman. “I don’t handle the promotional part of it. Maybe they were just scared of showing me.”
And Itzkoff noted that the star was visibly upset by Amazon’s choice to hide her. The NYT asked Amazon to elaborate on the topic, but the studio has yet to respond.
Both Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem Tried to Drop out of ‘Being the Ricardos’ Amid the Backlash
Nicole Kidman also addressed the public backlash in a Hollywood Reporter cover story. In it, she admitted that the drama prompted both her and co-star Javier Bardem to unsuccessfully drop out of the film.
Bardem’s casting was criticized because Desi Arnaz was Cuban while Bardem is Spanish.
Kidman and Bardem’s agents met with producer Todd Black and said their clients needed out. But Black managed to keep his leads in the movie.
“So then it was like, ‘Oh, no. Oh, no. We actually have to do this,’” said Kidman.
Since the backlash began, Sorkin has also spoken about his decision to cast Nicole Kidman as Lucille Ball. As he told The Hollywood Reporter, he was never “looking for a physical or vocal impersonation” of Ball. In fact, Cate Blanchett was his original choice for the movie. And she also bears little resemblance to the iconic actress.
“As far as audience anticipation, that’s something I’m just not worried about,” he continued. “I’m certain that when people see the movie, they’ll leave feeling that Nicole has made a very solid case for herself, but moreover, I’ve found that you can really leverage low expectations.”