“Being the Ricardos” star Nicole Kidman is getting rave reviews from a very important audience: Lucie Arnaz, daughter of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz and chief creative officer of Desilu, Too, the manager of their estate.
Speaking to Palm Springs Life this month, Arnaz lauded Kidman for her performance in the upcoming Aaron Sorkin biopic “Being the Ricardos,” which follows the iconic couple through one week of production on their hit TV show, “I Love Lucy.”
“Nicole did a spectacular job,” Arnaz said of the actress. “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,” Arnaz noted. “But boy, what she did was astounding. She’s got such poise and class.”
‘Being the Ricardos’ Includes a Few Scenes Arnaz Wanted Cut
The famous couple’s daughter was not all praise, however. She said Sorkin included some scenes that crossed the line between artistic license and outright falsehood.
“I couldn’t get my way and have them taken out, but they weren’t accurate. And I thought, ‘That shouldn’t be in there, because that never happened. That’s not true,'” Arnaz said.
She pointed out that on the day they shot those scenes, the sprinklers mysteriously went off on set, destroying the whole enterprise. Perhaps a sign of displeasure from above?
Arnaz is Mulling a Lucy and Desi Channel
Going through her mother’s old stuff after she died, Arnaz found a veritable treasure trove of mementos and creative material, including recordings of “Let’s Talk to Lucy,” a 1960s radio series in which Ball interviewed contemporary celebrities.
Arnaz said there’s so much material, it could be its own channel. Indeed, Sirius XM has already been airing the old recordings of Ball’s talk show. Add to that the upcoming release of “Being the Ricardos,” and there’s a wealth of content out there for “I Love Lucy” buffs. But Arnaz says there’s plenty more where that came from.
“We’re seriously considering just doing a Lucy and Desi channel,” Arnaz told Palm Springs Life. “I’ve been trying really hard the last few years to digitize everything. I have some tapes of my mother talking into a tape recorder, answering questions about her own life, but she was answering the lady who helped her write her autobiography, and she did it by tape recorder. The lady would say, ‘Tell me something about this,’ and my mother would talk for 40 minutes. And those are very high-quality tapes, and there are tons of that material out there.”
In the meantime, Desilu, Too has presided over a plethora of merchandising opportunities. When she’s not stopping people from plastering the couple’s faces over products without Desilu’s permission, Arnaz has been carefully selecting things to put out there, including “Being the Ricardos,” that represent love, friendship or family – all the things she knows her parents would want to stand for.