Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem have been putting up close lately To be Ricardo’s poster released by Amazon Studios. Lucie Arnaz gave the film its stamp of approval and said, “[Sorkin] made a great movie … He captured the essence of that time in their lives as well. He captured the heart of my mother and my father, their relationship. He captured the love between these players in I love Lucy show. The excitement that was created in this particular week when hell broke loose. “
Kidman has let the audience into her process of capturing the essence of Lucille Ball. She wanted to make sure she got hold of the powerful and iconic actress. Speaking of recreating the beloved I love Lucy scenes, she says, “I studied them and learned them. It was my obsession to get it exactly right. It was [writer/director Aaron Sorkin’s] obsession with having this human being portrayed – what is behind the creation of Lucy Ricardo, and who is the woman behind this character? “
Lucille Ball was the queen of storytelling, and she talked about the famous grape crushing screen on The Dick Cavett show. She remembers “[Tirelli] was told that there would be fights and it was also explained to her that there were times when my legs had to go up in this huge tub of real grapes. I slipped, and when I slipped, I hit her by accident. And she was offended. So she pulled away and let me have it … it took all the wind out of me. She held me down by the neck, “she added.” And she strangled me, and I really hit her to get her off. I was drowning in these grapes. She killed me. “
Writer and director Aaron Sorkin addressed concerns that producers, fans, Debra Messing and the actors themselves have had that Kidman and Bardem could have been miscast. “I want to make it very clear to them that I’m not looking for a physical or vocal imitation of these people,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “Before the first rehearsal, I wrote to them every day: ‘Just play the characters in the script.’ I know Nicole worked on Lucy’s voice for a while, and I would like to absolve her of that. “
He continued: “As for audience expectation, it’s something I’m just not worried about. I’m sure when people see the film, they will leave feeling like Nicole has done a very solid case for herself, but moreover “I have found that you can really take advantage of low expectations.”
To be Ricardo’s was written and directed by Aaron Sorkin. Along with Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem, the cast also includes JK Simmons and Nina Arianda, who portray William Frawley and Vivian Vance, Tony Hale, Alia Shawkat, Jake Lacy and Clark Gregg, respectively. There is also a documentary in the works, directed by Amy Poehler and produced by Ron Howard, that takes a deep dive from the beginning. Catch To be Ricardo’s in theaters on December 10 and on Prime Video on December 21.
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