Lucille Ball’s Daughter Says Nicole Kidman ‘Astounding’ in Sorkin’s ‘Being the Ricardos’

Lucie Arnaz said Nicole Kidman is "astounding" as Lucille Ball in Aaron Sorkin's new movie.
Lucille Ball in "I Love Lucy"
Lucille Ball in "I Love Lucy"
Everett Collection

Lucie Arnaz, the daughter of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, told Palm Springs Life that “there are certain scenes that I wished hadn’t been” in Aaron Sorkin’s upcoming biographical drama “Being the Ricardos.” The film, backed by Amazon Studios, stars Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem as Ball and Arnaz, respectively. Sorkin wrote the script and is directing the film, his third directorial effort following “Molly’s Game” and the Oscar-nominated “The Trial of the Chicago 7.”

“There are certain scenes that I wished hadn’t been in the feature film. I couldn’t get my way and have them taken out, but they weren’t accurate,” Lucie Arnaz said. “And I thought, ‘That shouldn’t be in there, because that never happened. That’s not true.’ And it’s not just theatrical license, it just wasn’t true. And the day they shot the scene, the sprinklers went off on the set and destroyed the whole set.”

According to Arnaz, “Being the Ricardos” takes place “primarily during rehearsals” for the filming of an “I Love Lucy” episode. “There are a few scenes where they’re at their house in Chatsworth, before working, after working,” she said. “There are two or three short flashback scenes to her life before ‘I Love Lucy,’ when she worked on the radio show, when she was trying to convince the network to hire dad.”

“But stuff happens that week that didn’t happen altogether the way Aaron has written it,” Arnaz continued. “He’s taking some theatrical license and sort of cramming a couple of true events that did happen, they just didn’t happen at the same time. But you do learn a lot about what it was like back then. His dialogue is always incredible. And I think he treated my mother and my father really well. I think they are accurate composites of these people. And what I’ve seen of it…I haven’t seen any of the rushes, but I was on the set for just two days. What I saw was extraordinarily classy and first rate. The people that he has cast are just really great performers.”

Arnaz was one of the first people to defend Sorkin’s casting of Kidman as Lucille Ball. Many “I Love Lucy” fans felt Kidman did not look the part, but Arnaz told Palm Springs Life that “Nicole did a spectacular job. 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. But boy, what she did was astounding. She’s got such poise and class.”

Amazon is expected to release “Being the Ricardos” later this year.

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