‘Being the Ricardos’ Star Alia Shawkat Had Hilarious Revelation When Watching Old ‘I Love Lucy’ Episodes

by Allison Hambrick

Being the Ricardos actress Alia Shawkat made a surprising and funny discovery when watching I Love Lucy to prepare for her role as Madelyn Pugh.

“But what’s interesting is — you know how on Amazon when you watch a show, they have trivia in the corner?” Shawkat said, according to Page Six. “When I was watching the show every night while shooting, one episode was like, in this episode, Lucy was accused of being a communist and I was like, ‘Oh my God, that’s the movie I’m making right now!”

Prior to filming, Shawkat no idea Ball had been accused of being a communist. She did, however, accurately guess that Desi Arnaz had cheated on Lucille Ball.

“I assume there were dalliances,” explained Shawkat. “At that time, I think most husbands cheated on their wives.”

While audiences won’t know how in depth the film will address Arnaz’s cheating, there are some details we do know. Being the Ricardos is directed by Aaron Sorkin and produced by Todd Black. It stars Javier Bardem as Desi Arnaz and Nicole Kidman as Lucille Ball. The film focuses primarily on the week in which Ball was accused of being a communist.

As for Shawkat, the actress will be playing writer Madelyn Pugh. Though she is not a household name, Pugh was a significant figure in I Love Lucy history. She was instrumental in helping Ball and Arnaz develop the vaudeville act that evolved into their onscreen personas. It is unknown how she will factor into Being the Ricardos, but given her history with the couple, it makes sense for her to appear.

Lucie Arnaz Talks “Real and Raw” Portrayals of Her Parents

While Arnaz and Ball’s daughter initially objected to the idea of making a movie about her parents, Lucie Arnaz relented under one condition. She wanted the film to show “the real and raw” history of her family.

“It’s the story of Lucille Ball, my actual mother, not Lucy Ricardo and her husband Desi Arnaz, my dad, not Ricky Ricardo,” Arnaz stated. She later added that fans need to understand that the film is not a remake of I Love Lucy. No one is trying to imitate her parents.

Being the Ricardos Comes Arnaz-Approved

“It’s freaking amazing,” Arnaz revealed in an Instagram video. “What can I tell you? [Sorkin] captured the essence of that time in their lives so well. He captured the love between those players in the I Love Lucy show. The tension that was brought on in this particular week when all hell broke loose. And Nicole Kidman became my mother’s soul. She crawled into her head. I don’t know how you do that.”

Between Arnaz’s praise and Shawkat’s enthusiasm, it seems like fans are in for an interesting movie.

Being the Ricardos hits in theaters on Dec. 10, and it release on Amazon Prime later in the month on Dec. 21.