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Nicole Kidman, who is set to star as Lucille Ball, has already won over the late comedienne’s only daughter.
The actress is set to play the “I Love Lucy” icon in Aaron Sorkin’s upcoming biopic titled “Being the Ricardos.” The film follows Ball and her husband Desi Arnaz (Javier Bardem) during a week of production on the beloved ’50s sitcom.
Arnaz, who has visited the set for two days, praised the “really great performers” who are “extremely classy and first rate” when it came to depicting her parents. She particularly applauded Kidman, 54, for her “spectacular job.”
“The two days I watched, though, were both little flashbacks, so [Nicole] was playing Lucy in the late ‘30s and mid-‘40s,” the 70-year-old told Palm Springs Life on Wednesday. “She wasn’t Lucy of Lucy Ricardo fame yet, so it was a trifle different.”
Lucie Arnaz (pictured here) is the only daughter of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.
(Photo by Walter McBride/WireImage/Getty Images)
“And I know she meant it to be, so it could feel different,” Arnaz continued. “But boy, what she did was astounding. She’s got such poise and class.”
The fellow performer said she’s aware that many of her mother’s fans were surprised that Kidman was cast in the role. However, Arnaz said she wasn’t fazed by the criticism.
“There are no look-alikes,” she explained. “I mean, nobody was cast because they look exactly like somebody. They were cast because they’re spectacular performers, actors and they can capture the basic essence of what has been written in this script. And Aaron was adamant about that and thank God. I’m looking forward to seeing the finished product.”
Still, Arnaz admitted to the outlet that there were “certain scenes” that she “wished” Sorkin, 60, hadn’t included in the film. Arnaz didn’t provide specific details about the scenes in question.
Nicole Kidman will be starring as Lucille Ball in the upcoming biopic
“I couldn’t get my way and have them taken out, but they weren’t accurate,” said Arnaz. “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.”
″I Love Lucy″ starred Desi as bandleader Ricky Ricardo, Ball as his wife Lucy, as well as William Frawley and Vivian Vance as neighbor-landlords Fred and Ethel Mertz. It ran from 1951 to 1961 and is still seen around the world in reruns.
The show was produced at Arnaz and Miss Ball’s Desilu Studios. From that series, the couple developed Desilu into a major TV production company that in its prime produced more than 19 TV programs, including ″The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour,″ ″The Untouchables,″ ″December Bride,″ ″Willy,″ ″Our Miss Brooks,″ ″Make Room for Daddy,″ ″Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse,″ ″The Web″ and shows starring Ray Bolger and George Gobel.
Ball and Desi were married from 1940 until 1960. The patriarch passed away in 1986 at age 68 from lung cancer. Ball died in 1989 at age 77. She suffered a rupture of the aorta after undergoing heart surgery. The pair is survived by a daughter and son.
Studio portrait of American actor and comedian Lucille Ball receiving a hug from her husband, Cuban-born bandleader and singer Desi Arnaz, against a green backdrop, circa 1955.
(Photo by CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images)
Back in June, Kidman told Chris Rock during a conversation for Variety that she was determined to capture Ball the right way on-screen.
“I’ve had to put in an enormous amount of time on Lucille Ball right now because she has a very particular way of speaking,” Kidman explained at the time.
The star added that she’s “hopefully” funny in the role.
“The strange thing about Lucille Ball is that everyone thinks we’re remaking the ‘I Love Lucy’ show, and it’s so not that,” she said. “It’s about Lucy and Desi and their relationship and their marriage. It’s very deep actually.”
“Being the Ricardos” currently doesn’t have an official premiere date.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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