Acclaimed actor Javier Bardem recently explained why he took the role as Desi Arnaz in the upcoming Aaron Sorkin film, Being the Ricardos. Arnaz was a producer, actor, and the husband of Hollywood Icon Lucille Ball. He played Ricky Ricardo on the hit series I Love Lucy and started a production company with his wife.
But just like with anybody, there was more than what met the eye. Arnaz and Ball had a complicated marriage, and it’s something Being the Ricardos is intent on exploring. The film follows Arnaz, played by Bardem, and Ball, played by Nicole Kidman, as they navigate a week behind the scenes of I Love Lucy. I Love Lucy launched the pair into major stardom.
Bardem wanted the role as Desi Arnaz in Being the Ricardos because he felt a connection to the actor and producer.
“Yes, I went after the role of Desi because in Spain, [the show] wasn’t as popular there,” Bardem said in a recent panel. “I knew at the moment prior to watching the show and reading about it, that I had a strong connection for what he represented in some weird way. I was very much looking forward to playing him.”
Fans have Strong Opinions About ‘Being the Ricardos’
Fans of Lucille Ball weren’t happy when they learned that Nicole Kidman was taking the part. Many misunderstood Ball as who she played while on I Love Lucy, a carefree comedian. But Lucie Arnaz, daughter of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, defended Kidman.
“I like Nicole Kidman as an actor. But her face doesn’t move and Lucille Ball was super-expressive. It is actually counter logic to cast her as one of the funniest women ever. Nicole has so little comedic timing,” one person tweeted following the release of the trailer.
The thing is, Kidman doesn’t have to have a bunch of comedic timing for the role. The role is a drama about the behind-the-scenes lives of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.
And it looks like fans may be in for a pleasant surprise if early reviews are any to go by.
“Kidman embodies the essence of Ball, especially in her mannerisms during the rehearsals and filming of episodes. She very well may break your heart, demanding the viewer’s sympathy and a best actress nomination may seem almost certainly in the cards for her,” Clayton Davis, a film reviewer for Variety who got early access, wrote.
So even if you have your doubts, these early reviews are definitely looking promising. Of course, fans won’t be able to make any definitive statements about the film until its release on December 10th.