Nicole Kidman is stoked to play Lucille Ball in biopic: ‘She’s an amazing woman’

Nicole Kidman speaks at the TCA 2020 winter press tour
Actress Nicole Kidman will play Lucille Ball in Amazon Studios’ “Being the Ricardos.”
(Willy Sanjuan / Associated Press)

Nicole Kidman is excited to play Lucille Ball, even if fans of Debra Messing might disagree with the “Big Little Lies” star’s casting.

“I love Lucille, having looked now and delved into her,” Kidman told Variety on Wednesday. “She’s an amazing woman.”

The casting of the Australia-born actress as the lovable Lucy in Aaron Sorkin’s movie “Being the Ricardos” sparked a social media outcry among Messing fans, who cited the sitcom actress’ portrayal of Ball in a recent “Will & Grace” episode as proof she should play the TV icon.

But Kidman isn’t fazed by the Twitter drama. Rather, she was lured by the combination of Sorkin’s dialogue — he’s the writer in addition to directing the Amazon Studios project — and Javier Bardem’s casting as Desi Arnaz.

Debra Messing says she’s “available” to play Lucille Ball in “Being the Ricardos,” an Amazon Studios movie that’s reportedly about to cast Nicole Kidman.

Jan. 12, 2021


The movie reportedly follows a week in the real life of Ball and Arnaz during which they have a fight that almost derails their marriage.

“I’m very excited for people to see what Aaron found out about her and the way he’s interpreted Desi and Lucy and the way that it’s so rich. I didn’t know any of this,” Kidman said.

Fans, egged on by Messing’s retweets, complained a couple of weeks back after Kidman and Bardem’s names were leaked. They compared Messing’s comedic chops to Kidman’s (unfavorably on the Oscar winner’s side, obviously) and praised the “Will & Grace” star’s expressive face.

But Lucie Arnaz, daughter of the “I Love Lucy” TV stars, defended Kidman’s casting in a Facebook video a few days later.

“Here’s the deal. You should understand. We are not doing a remake of ‘I Love Lucy.’ No one has to impersonate Lucy Ricardo nor do the Vitameatavegamin routine, or the chocolate factory routine or any of the silly things,” she said. “It’s the story of Lucille Ball, my actual mother, not Lucy Ricardo, and her husband, Desi Arnaz, my dad, not Ricky Ricardo.”

While there will be humor in the film, Arnaz said, it’s more about what went right with the show and wrong with their romance and marriage. “Very little of the show is actually ‘I Love Lucy’-type stuff,” she said.

The release date for “Being the Ricardos” is unknown. For now, Kidman told Variety, she’s taking a few months off work