Nicole Kidman reveals she’s ‘out of her comfort zone’ playing Lucille Ball in upcoming biopic

Nicole Kidman is slated to play the iconic Lucille Ball in an upcoming biopic.

The actress, 53, candidly discussed the challenges of taking on the role of the legendary comedienne during the latest installment of Variety’s Actors on Actors with Chris Rock.

Rock, 56, also revealed the female comics who took him ‘under their wing’ when he was a young up-and-comer in the industry.

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Shop talk: Nicole Kidman and Chris Rock candidly discussed the challenges of Kidman taking on the role of Lucille Ball in an upcoming biopic during the latest installment of Variety’s Actors on Actors with Chris Rock


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‘The strange thing about Lucille Ball is that everyone thinks we’re remaking the I Love Lucy show, and it’s so not that,’ Kidman explained. ‘It’s about Lucy and Desi and their relationship and their marriage. It’s very deep, actually.’ 

‘She was a trailblazer. She formed her production company. Desi was Cuban, and she had to fight to get him on the show,’ the Emmy winner added. 

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‘They had just so many things in their marriage that are so relevant today, and what she was also dealing with in terms of everything that artists deal with, where you’re up against big corporations.’ 

Kidman will play the 1950s television legend in the biopic, Being The Ricardos, depicting the couple’s marriage in the midst of a crisis during filming for the famous sitcom. 

‘The strange thing about Lucille Ball is that everyone thinks we’re remaking the I Love Lucy show, and it’s so not that,’ Kidman explained. ‘It’s about Lucy and Desi and their relationship and their marriage. It’s very deep, actually.’

‘Let’s not downplay the fact how hard it must’ve been to be a woman at that time going through, you know, just like, ‘I’m the boss. Not him. I’m the boss.” Rock added.

She will be starring opposite Javier as Desi Arnaz in the Amazon project written and directed by Aaron Sorkin.

‘Let’s not downplay the fact how hard it must’ve been to be a woman at that time going through, you know, just like, ‘I’m the boss. Not him. I’m the boss.” Rock added.  

The cast for the flick includes Alia Shawkat as writer Madelyn Pugh, who along with her writing partner Bob Carroll Jr., worked on several TV projects for Lucille including I Love Lucy.

Meanwhile Alia’s old Arrested Development co-star Tony Hale also has a role in Being The Ricardos as I Love Lucy showrunner Jess Oppenheimer.

I Love Lucy: Kidman will play the 1950s television legend in the biopic, Being The Ricardos, depicting the couple’s marriage in the midst of a crisis during filming for the famous sitcom

Lucy once referred to Jess as ‘the brains’ of the operation but he left the program in 1956 to become an NBC programming executive.

JK Simmons and Nina Arianda are respectively playing William Frawley and Vivian Vance – known to I Love Lucy fans as the characters Fred and Ethel Mertz. 

‘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,’ Nicole told Chris Rock.  

Adding: ‘I am way out of my comfort zone right now, Chris. I’m free-falling.’ 

‘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,’ Nicole told Chris Rock. ‘I am way out of my comfort zone right now, Chris. I’m free-falling.’

Meanwhile, Chris opened up to Nicole about the amazing women in comedy – like Joy Behar and Susie Essman – who took him ‘under their wing’ and helped him when he was starting out in the industry.

‘I just always was around these powerful women. I mean, even in comedy, the clubs were run by women,’ the actor said, adding: ‘Everybody talks about how stand-up is a boys’ club, but stand-up’s been run by a lot of women for a lot of years.’

Kidman’s role as Lucille Ball will be decidedly different from her last meaty role opposite Hugh Grant in HBO’s The Undoing.

‘She was a trailblazer. She formed her production company. Desi was Cuban, and she had to fight to get him on the show,’ the Emmy winner added.

‘I just always was around these powerful women. I mean, even in comedy, the clubs were run by women,’ the actor said, adding: ‘Everybody talks about how stand-up is a boys’ club, but stand-up’s been run by a lot of women for a lot of years.’

When Chris Rock noted that she and husband Keith Urban ‘look so happy’, the star was quick to gush over her real life husband. 

‘You guys look so happy,’ Rock said. ‘I mean, we all look happy, but you guys look really happy. So the untrusting wife thing?’ 

‘I have a really good partner, yes, in my real life,’ she said of her country music crooner husband. ‘In ‘The Undoing,’ not so good.’ 

Following her split from Tom Cruise in 2001, Kidman married Keith Urban in 2006.  

One happy family: When Chris Rock noted that she and husband Keith Urban ‘look so happy’, the star was quick to gush over her real life husband

Read more:

  • Chris Rock and Nicole Kidman on ‘Fargo,’ ‘The Undoing’ & Lucille Ball – Variety

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