‘Being the Ricardos’: Nina Arianda Said Nicole Kidman Apologized for Intense Lucille Ball-Vivian Vance Scene

by Anna Dunn

Nina Arianda, who played Vivian Vance in the new film Being the Ricardos, said her co-star, Nicole Kidman apologized to her for an intense scene between Vivian Vance and Lucilla Ball. Kidman played Lucille Ball in the new Aaron Sorkin film.

There’s a pretty intense scene between Lucille Ball and Vivian Vance that Kidman actually apologized for. She did so before shooting because of the insults thrown and the way Ball discusses Vivian Vance’s appearance. Those kinds of scenes tend to take an emotional toll.

In an interview with Variety, Arianda explained how she and Nicole Kidman built up enough respect and trust to do a scene like that.

“Nicole was so kind in the beginning and said, ‘I want to apologize ahead of time, this is a very difficult scene for me to do and to have to speak to you like this,'” Arianda explained.

But then, thank god, she really gave it to me in the scene,” she said. The scene was a highlight in both of their performances, seeing both friends argue and Vivian Vance fight for her image.

Arianda Said the ‘Being the Ricardos’ Scene Had ‘No Softballs’

“There were no softballs thrown at me, which I really appreciated. It is coming from a place of respect. These were two people that were best friends and begging to be seen by one another,” Arianda explained of the scene. Arianda noted that at the time, Vivian Vance was very worried about being boxed in as Ethel. With all her other talents and nuance as an actor cast aside following the popularity of I Love Lucy.

“Lucy is saying, “You have to understand, this is my job, I know what people want.” Vivian is saying, “You have to let me be me, even a little bit. I’m losing it.” It’s all coming from love,” Arianda explained. Arianda really shined as Vivian Vance.

Vance and Lucille Ball would go on to have a very long-lasting friendship. In the beginning, they didn’t get along well at all. And sometimes, tensions would rise between the two behind the scenes even if they were friends. But even in the heat of that fight, the two clearly had a lot of respect for each other.

Throughout the film, Arianda struggles with her image falling apart and her difficult relationships behind the scenes.

“She has to reconcile with herself that what she did in her past and who she is. That’s so very important to where she presently was — which was on a hit show,” Arianda said of Vance. “Nobody can take any of that away from her, as hard as they may try.”

You can now catch Being the Ricardos on Amazon Prime.