Nicole Kidman is getting rave reviews for her portrayal of Lucille Ball in upcoming movie “Being the Ricardos,” but the actor revealed she almost quit over fears she was the wrong person to play the comedy icon.
“When the sort of reality of playing her hit me, I went, ‘What have I said yes to?’ Kidman said on “Live With Kelly and Ryan” this week. “To which I then went, ‘Oh, no, I’m not right, everyone thinks I’m not right, so, I’m gonna try and sidestep this.’”
She made similar comments at a screening for the Aaron Sorkin-written-and-directed movie, which explores Ball’s relationship with husband and “I Love Lucy” co-star Desi Arnaz.
At the screening, she said she went so far as to email Sorkin to try to get out of doing the movie after all, Jezebel reported.
Ultimately, both Sorkin and producer Todd Black pushed back and convinced Kidman to stay on.
News of her casting had initially been met with some skepticism, with some people complaining the two women don’t look alike and that Kidman is not known as a comedic actor herself. Plus, fans of “Will and Grace” star Debra Messing had been clamoring for her to play Ball, and Messing made it clear she’d love the role.
But the movie itself is notably a drama, not a comedy. Kidman also talked at the screening about going through comedy training to help her get in character. She said she “started with the grape stomping” referring to the famous “I Love Lucy” scene in which Lucy joins a winemaker stomping grapes in a large vat.
Sorkin also previously addressed gripes that Kidman doesn’t look much like the late Ball, noting that finding a physical lookalike had not been a priority for him.