Nicole Kidman Reveals the Biggest Challenge in Playing Lucille Ball

In a video chat with Chris Rock, Nicole Kidman talked about the challenges of playing I Love Lucy star Lucille Ball in a biopic about the actress' relationship with Desi Arnaz.

By Corinne Heller Jun 10, 2021 6:57 PMTags
Watch: Nicole Kidman Brings Her Kids to Their 1st Movie Premiere

What kind of acting role challenges Nicole Kidman? How about one of the most trailblazing women in comedy.

The Oscar-winning actress, known for her dramatic onscreen performances, plays I Love Lucy's Lucille Ball in Aaron Sorkin's upcoming Amazon Studios biopic Being the Ricardos, which focuses on the late sitcom star's turbulent relationship with co-star and real-life husband Dezi Arnaz, played by Javier Bardem. In a remote video chat with comedian Chris Rock, recorded for the Variety Studio: Actors on Actors series and posted on Thursday, June 10, Kidman discussed her new movie role.

"I am way out of my comfort zone right now, Chris," the actress told the actor, who is not involved with the film. "I'm free-falling." 

Kidman continued, "I'd like to be funny. I'm never cast funny." Rock responded, "Oh, you could be funny. You're playing Lucille Ball. You better be funny," to which the actress replied, "Lucille Ball is hopefully funny."

Kidman also talked about how she works on modifying her accent for her acting roles. "I've had to put in an enormous amount of time on Lucille Ball right now," she said, "because she has a very particular rhythm and way of speaking."

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Ball and Arnaz wed in 1940 and played a married couple on the sitcom I Love Lucy, which aired for six seasons until 1957 and remains one of the most famous American shows of all time. Ball and Arnaz went on to reprise their roles on The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour, a spinoff series of specials that lasted three seasons and ended in 1960, the year the couple divorced. After their split, they both continued acting and Ball was the star of a few more sitcoms bearing her name.

Their kids, Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz Jr., were made executive producers of Being the Ricardos. News about Kidman and Bardem's involvement in the movie was announced this past January. Since then, the actors have occasionally been spotted on set, in character.

See a photo of Kidman as Ball and other actors portraying real-life people onscreen:

Nicole Kidman as Lucille Ball

The Oscar-winning actress plays the late I Love Lucy star in Aaron Sorkin's film Being the Ricardos.

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Tom Hanks as Mister Rogers

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Margot Robbie as Tonya Harding

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Anthony Mackie as Martin Luther King Jr.

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Jessica Lange as Joan Crawford

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Susan Sarandon as Bette Davis

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Tom Hiddleston as Hank Williams

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Kerry Washington as Anita Hill

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Michael Keaton as Ray Kroc

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Selma Blair as Kris Jenner

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David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King Jr.

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