‘Being the Ricardos’ Star J.K. Simmons Opens Up About Trying to Land Big Roles: ‘I Wasn’t’ Robert Redford

by Joe Rutland

Playing William Frawley wasn’t a miss for Being the Ricardos star J.K. Simmons. The actor knows that he’s not going to win beauty contests.

A few years before getting the role in the Aaron Sorkin-directed movie starring Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem, Simmons talked about his career with Variety.

“When I got to New York, I would go to these big auditions and see if I was auditioning to be a leading man,” Simmons says. “It was like everyone there was Robert Redford, and I wasn’t. And at the character things, it was like they were all Marty Feldman. And I wasn’t that, either. I didn’t know where I fit.”

Outsiders, let’s take a look and see what the Being the Ricardos star says in this interview.

Simmons plays Frawley, who starred as Fred Mertz in the legendary sitcom I Love Lucy. In case you don’t know, Kidman plays Lucille Ball, and Bardem plays Desi Arnaz in the movie.

Being the Ricardos is in movie theaters right now and also is available for viewing on Amazon Prime.

‘Being the Ricardos’ Star Nina Arianda Talks About What She Learned From Vivian Vance

While our attention has been on Simmons and his portrayal of William Frawley, maybe we should also give some attention to actress Nina Arianda.

See, she played Vivian Vance in the movie Being the Ricardos. And, yes, Vance played Ethel Mertz on I Love Lucy.

What could she find out about Vance that helped her play the role? Arianda talks about this in an interview with Variety.

“Are you familiar with the Chekhov play Three Sisters?” she asks. “I once played Olga, which is a really ‘womp-womp’ part. You don’t get the sex appeal of Masha or Irina. When you play Olga, you’re sad for the entire run but you have an appreciation for someone in their position and how they make the best of it. Vivian is no Olga, mind you, but what came from this was… Boy, you better appreciate your own layers on a personal basis even though the world might not.”

The movie shows a more nuanced person in Vance.

Actress Says That Vance Has To Reconcile ‘With Herself’ About Past Roles

Arianda says that Vance 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. Nobody can take any of that away from her, as hard as they may try.”

While the actress knew Vance from I Love Lucy, she found more info thanks to archival footage of Desi Arnaz introducing the cast. Arianda saw a different side of Vance that she might call the “seductress.”