Nicole Kidman is opening up about being cast as Lucille Ball in a new film about the legendary “I Love Lucy” star’s marriage — and she says she is very “excited” for the new part.
“I was like, “Yeah, I would love to give it a go,” she said, describing her decision to take on the part. "With Aaron's words and his direction and Javier… that's kind of a wonderful prospect to, you know. But yikes, off we go. Give it a go. Try my best—see if I can do it."
Javier Bardem is cast opposite Kidman as Ball’s then-husband and “I Love Lucy” costar, Desi Arnaz. Deadline first reported that he and Kidman were in talks for the role.
“She's an amazing woman,” Kidman added. “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.”
During the interview, the “Eyes Wide Shut” actress said she’d been studying Ball by watching old episodes of the classic sitcom, which ran on CBS from 1951 to 1957 for 180 episodes over six seasons.
“I love Lucille, having looked now and delved into her,” remarked of her research.
Last week, Ball’s daughter, Lucie Arnaz, spoke out defending the choice to cast Kidman as her mother after social media said “Will & Grace” actress Debra Messing was “robbed” of the role.
“There seems to be a lot of discussion about Nicole Kidman [and people saying] it should be Debra Messing.... I don't know, but here's the deal and what you should understand: We're not doing a remake of I Love Lucy,” Arnaz, 69, said. “No one has to impersonate Lucy Ricardo [or do] any of the silly things. It's the story of Lucille Ball, my actual mother.”
The film follows Ball and Arnaz over the course of a week during the taping of “I Love Lucy,” as the two navigate their marriage at a delicate time both in their relationship and the show.
Ball and Arnaz married in 1940 and also had a son, Desi Arnaz, Jr., 67. The Hollywood power couple divorced in 1960.
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