As filming continues, fans are getting a better idea of exactly what is in store for the upcoming film, “Being the Ricardos.”
The feature film will star Nicole Kidman as Lucille Ball and Javier Bardem as Desi Arnaz. Fans of “I Love Lucy” will recognize the real-life actors of two of television’s most iconic, prolific, and game-changing characters.
The movie is a look at the relationship and partnership going on behind the TV screen. Rather than recreating “I Love Lucy,” “Being the Ricardos” is all about Ball and Arnaz. It will center around one week on the set of “I Love Lucy,” which is the length it took to film one episode.
Nicole Kidman as Lucille Ball in ‘Being the Ricardos’
Nicole Kidman has tapped into her role as one of TV’s most inspirational and trailblazing women of all time. Behind-the-scenes photos show Kidman dressed in Ball’s typical 1950s apparel and donning that signature red-orange hair and drawn on eyebrows for “Being the Ricardos.”
There’s one other important aspect of playing the Lucille Ball — her accent.
It’s not something fans of Lucille Ball may even notice or think about. However, Ball had a very specific way of speaking. Her voice is beyond recognizable to the point that if a fan closes their eyes and a recording of her speaking plays, they’ll know it’s her.
In an interview with Variety, Nicole Kidman talks about the preparation that goes into playing Lucille Ball.
“I don’t think about it too much. I’ve always come at it through feeling. The technical aspects of performance for me are really interesting. They’re almost like homework. And then in you come, and that can fluctuate depending on what’s going through my body, my heart, my mind at the time. The great thing about an accent is you can always go and fix it in looping. So in an accent, I’ll put the time in. I’ve had to put in an enormous amount of time on Lucille Ball right now, because she has a very particular way of speaking,” Kidman said.
Nicole Kidman was born in Hawaii and is from Australia. So, she’s adapting that Australian accent into Ball’s particular way of talking in “Being the Ricardos.”
Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz Accents
When people think about “I Love Lucy” and accents, it’s likely that Lucille Ball’s isn’t the first that comes to mind.
Instead, it’s probably Desi Arnaz, who played Ricky Ricardo on the show. Arnaz is from Cuba and has a very strong accent. Fans adored the way he would say, “Lucy, you got some splainin’ to do.”
On the show, Lucy would lovingly poke fun and repeat back his accent, causing a laugh from the audience. However, according to Mental Floss, only Lucy could get away with mocking her husband’s accent.
If other cast members tried to make fun of the accent the audience reacted with some “stony silence.” Lucille Ball’s mocking came from love, but other people’s teasing couldn’t come from that same place.