‘Being The Ricardos’ Director Aaron Sorkin Addresses Lucy Arnaz’ Criticism of Film

by Josh Lanier
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Lucie Arnaz says there are scenes in Being the Ricardos that aren’t true. She fought with director Aaron Sorkin to remove them, but he refused. The writer/director recently explained why he kept them in the movie.

Sorkin invited the daughter of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz to visit the set of Being the Ricardos earlier this year. Overall the film was mostly correct and fair, she said.

“And I think (Sorkin) treated my mother and my father really well,” she told Palm Springs Life in August. “I think they are accurate composites of these people.”

But some scenes went beyond “theatrical license.” They were just wrong. She said Aaron Sorkin wanted to leave them in, though.

“I couldn’t get my way and have them taken out, but they weren’t accurate,” Arnaz said. “And it’s not just theatrical license, it just wasn’t true.”

She didn’t elaborate on what was inaccurate. But Sorkin said he understands her frustration. Biopics often conflate or condense certain parts of a person’s life to better fit the story’s timeframe and themes. Seeing that can be difficult for those close to them, he said.

“If anybody did a movie about my parents, no matter how great the writer or the director, no matter how great the actors, no matter how well they captured my parents, I can’t imagine liking the movie,” he told The Hollywood Reporter.

The movie focuses on a week in the lives of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz as they struggle to keep their marriage and their show, I Love Lucy, from falling apart amid scandals.

Sorkin admitted that he shoved several major events — like Desi Arnaz’s cheating scandal and Ball’s pregnancy — into that week. Though they didn’t even happen in the same year.

Being the Ricardos premieres in theaters on Dec. 10 and Amazon Prime on Dec. 21.

Lucie Arnaz Commends Actors in ‘Being the Ricardos’

Overall, Lucie Arnaz is happy with the film. Nicole Kidman, who plays Lucille Ball, and Javier Bardem, Desi, particularly impressed her, she said.

“Nicole did a spectacular job,” Arnaz said in August. “The two days that I watched, though, were both little flashbacks, so she was playing Lucy in the late ’30s and mid-’40s. She wasn’t Lucy of Lucy Ricardo fame yet, so it was a trifle different.

“And I know she meant it to be, so it could feel different. But boy, what she did was astounding. She’s got such poise and class.”

Kidman said last week that she studied episodes of I Love Lucy to learn Ball’s mannerisms and movements.

“It was my obsession to get it absolutely accurate,” Kidman said. “It was [Sorkin’s] obsession to have this human being portrayed — what’s behind the creation of Lucy Ricardo, and who is the woman behind this character?”

Kidman said getting Lucie Arnaz’s endorsement meant a lot.

“It’s been a huge, huge relief because it’s her parents, and we wanted to honor them but we wanted to show them with their flaws,” she said recently. “Javier had his own conversations with her. She was very supportive of us. She wanted us to play the roles.”

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