Nicole Kidman Lucille Ball

Last week, word broke that Nicole Kidman would be playing the legendary Lucille Ball in the Aaron Sorkin movie Being the Ricardos, with Javier Bardem playing Ball’s husband and I Love Lucy co-star Desi Arnaz. The news was met with puzzlement, particularly regarding Kidman’s casting, with many voicing concerns that the actress was a poor match for Ball. But now someone who might be considered an expert on Lucille Ball – her daughter Lucie Arnaz – has weighed-in to defend Kidman’s casting.

Before we continue, let me just add that I think Nicole Kidman is a very good, and sometimes even great, actress. Now that I’ve said that, I still think she’s 100% wrong to play Lucille Ball in Being the Ricardos, Aaron Sorkin’s upcoming movie that is “set during one production week of I Love Lucy — Monday table read through Friday audience filming — when Lucy and Desi face a crisis that could end their careers and another that could end their marriage.”

This project has been in the works for a few years now, and for the longest time, it looked like Cate Blanchett was set to play Ball – and honestly, that would’ve been a better choice. But that’s not what happened; the part is now Kidman’s to lose, and lots of folks have thoughts about that. And a majority of those thoughts are on the negative side. Even those (like me!) who recognize Kidman’s talent seem to agree that she’s not quite right for the role of Lucille Ball.

But one person who doesn’t feel that way is someone who was very close to the real Ball: her daughter, Lucie Arnaz. Speaking in a Facebook video (via Deadline), Arnaz said: “Stop arguing about who should play it – ‘she doesn’t look like her, her nose isn’t the same she isn’t as funny.’ Just trust us. It’s going to be a nice film and p.s. the voting is over.” I’m not entirely sure what she means by “the voting is over” – is she implying someone took a vote somewhere on who would play Lucy? In any case, Arnaz also added: “I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.” Arnaz also confirmed that the film “will follow Ball’s relationship with on-screen husband Desi Arnaz and their relationship on and off-screen.”

All that said, it’s worth pointing out that Lucie Arnaz is listed as one of the executive producers on the film, so she’s not exactly an impartial party here. In any case, I remain unconvinced that Kidman is right for this part, but I’m certainly willing to give the film a chance whenever it arrives. There’s no release date yet, but Being the Ricardos is coming from Amazon Studios at some point.

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