Back in January of this year, when it was announced that Aaron Sorkin’s long-awaited Lucille Ball biopic would finally be made, the news was not met with excitement, but immediate criticism. Twitter erupted with opinions, lamenting that Nicole Kidman, who was cast as the iconic comedian in the starring role, was not right for the part. Fast forward ten months and Being the Ricardos has premiered to early praise and Kidman has officially entered the Oscar race thanks to her portrayal of Ball. But even Kidman had some doubts about taking on the role at first. In fact, she recently admitted she almost gave into the backlash and stepped down from the movie all those months ago.
While appearing on Live with Kelly and Ryan on Thursday, Kidman revealed she was initially very excited to take on Ball, driven by Sorkin’s screenplay, which she says is “as good as a great novel.” Then, “the reality of playing [Ball] hit” Kidman. “I went, ‘what have I said yes to?’”
Kidman told Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest that, fueled by the criticism, she immediately tried to back out of the job. “I went, ‘Oh no, I’m not right. Everyone thinks I'm not right so I'm going to try to sidestep this.’” Luckily, the movie’s producers, Sorkin and Todd Black, were there to talk her out of it. “And thank god, because then I was so grateful because I got to fall in love with her,” Kidman said.
While at the movie’s New York premiere on Thursday night, the actress spoke more about portraying Ball and working with Sorkin. There, Kidman revealed the toughest part of the job was “demystifying” Ball, but Sorkin was there to help. “That's the great thing about being an actor, is you actually are in the hands of the director,” she said. “We're not the person controlling or steering it, so if he wants it, that was what he wants. That was what he stated from the very beginning, “I want you to humanize her. Make them real.’”
Kidman and Javier Bardem, who portrays Ball’s husband and costar, Desi Arnaz, in the movie, held hands as they took on the red carpet for the premiere. Kidman seemed to take some inspiration from the ‘50s setting of the film, wearing a Chanel fall/winter 2021/22 couture dress with a drop waist adorned with two large bows. She accessorized the look with a Jennifer Behr bow in her hair, some Ana Khouri jewels, and a pair of vintage-inspired Chloe Gosselin shoes. Bardem, meanwhile, opted for a one-button maroon coat with black pants, complimenting his movie wife nicely.
Being the Ricardos hits select theaters on Dec. 10 and Amazon Prime Video on Dec. 21.