Lucille Ball’s daughter was “devastated” when Cate Blanchett had to exit Aaron Sorkin’s biopic.
Lucie Arnaz told NYT that at first, “none” of Blanchett’s possible replacements “made me happy.”
Arnaz said Nicole Kidman is right for the part because she “understood” divorce and addiction.
Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz ‘s daughter, Lucie Arnaz, told The New York Times she was “devastated” when Cate Blanchett had to pull out of the project that eventually became Aaron Sorkin’s “Being the Ricardos.”
Arnaz explained that getting the project off the ground “just took too long and we lost her.” Deadline reported back in 2015 that Blanchett was attached to a “Lucille Ball biopic project” and that Sorkin was “in talks” to write it. Blanchett was reportedly still set to play Ball as late as 2017, according to Deadline, but by January 2021, the publication reported that Nicole Kidman was in negotiations to play the beloved comedian.
“Being the Ricardos,” which ultimately was released in December 2021, was originally conceived as a mini-series for television before turning into the biopic film, Arnaz, who executive produced the film, told the Times.
Replacing Blanchett as Ball was no easy feat for the daughter of everyone’s favorite on-screen couple. Arnaz said none of the actors who were initially suggested for the part after Blanchett stepped away “made me happy.”
“It was always like, who’s the flavor of the month? Who’s got the hot movie of the minute?” Arnaz told the Times.
“I Love Lucy” fans were vocal on social media about wanting “Will & Grace” star Debra Messing to step into Ball’s shoes after she played the icon’s alter ego, Lucy Ricardo, on a 2020 episode of the sitcom reboot paying homage to the star.
Arnaz herself even played the chocolate factory boss on that episode, titled “We Love Lucy.” But Arnaz told the Times that Messing “just wants to be that person so bad” and that the team behind the biopic wasn’t “doing that,” implying that Messing wouldn’t have been the right fit for the role.
The Sorkin film is a drama that only features about three minutes of Ball playing her most famous character, Lucy Ricardo. Plus, Sorkin previously told Insider he purposefully avoided mimicking many iconic episodes of the beloved sitcom as he didn’t want to make a film about “‘I Love Lucy’s’ greatest hits.”
“Being the Ricardos” is an examination of some of Ball’s most intense life experiences. So, when Kidman expressed interest in the part, Arnaz knew it was the right fit, despite backlash against her casting on social media.
Arnaz told the Times that some of her mother’s and Kidman’s life experiences paralleled each other because Kidman “had been married before — she understood divorce and trying to raise your children in the spotlight.”
Kidman didn’t directly compare herself to Ball on a personal level while speaking with the Times but said that she learned how complex Ball was and came to appreciate her more while making the film.
“She loved a person who loved her but couldn’t give her want she wanted most,” Kidman said, referring to the fact that Desi cheated on Ball and they ultimately divorced.
Kidman said that Ball also “was really funny but she wanted to be a movie star.”
“Being the Ricardos” is streaming now on Prime Video.
Read the original article on Insider