NY loves Lucy.
Nicole Kidman, star of Lucille Ball’s upcoming biopic “Being the Ricardos,” in theaters on December 10 and on Amazon Prime Video on December 21, and her co-stars spoke to an enthusiastic group of Screen Actors voters. New York’s Guild Award after a screening in Midtown Manhattan on Thursday.
And Kidman, 54, revealed that she tried to quit the movie “I Love Lucy” after initially accepting the role due to the daunting task of playing such a revered Hollywood icon.
“In fact, I sent [director] Aaron [Sorkin] an email saying, “I think I’m actually the wrong person now. I know I said ‘yes’ but now I’m saying ‘no’, “said the Australian actress.” To which he said, ‘You can’t say’ no ‘now!’ I’m really happy that he pushed me.
Sorkin’s daring casting choice initially sparked reactions online, as the Oscar winner isn’t known for her comedic chops, but the Oscars buzz and chatter has been building in recent weeks. Viewers are in awe of the engagement with which she immersed herself in Ball’s voice and body.
“I started with the trampling of the grape,” Kidman said of his prep, referring to the classic 1956 “Lucy” episode of “Lucy’s Italian Movie”. “And that was my way to her, and I loved doing it. I loved doing the clown job and stuff.
She added: “I also worked with a movement coach, because his physique – [I’m a] Some sort of lanky 5-foot-11-inch woman that isn’t used to, you know, she was a beautiful dancer and she was so in control of her body. So I really had to work on this.
Kidman also had to master Ball’s unique, smoky but silly voice, which she tested on her famous spouse, singer Keith Urban.
“Vocally, I started with Lucy’s voice, and it was so out of reach it was terrifying,” she said. “I was like, ‘Oh my God’. And I would do it for my husband, who has a really good ear, because he’s a musician, and he’d be like, ‘Hmmmm.’ A little scary.
When Javier Bardem, 52, who plays husband and Ball Desi collaborator Arnaz, was asked how he captured Arnaz’s explosive charisma, he replied, “Born like this! “, Before quickly adding” Jokingly “.
Also in attendance were JK Simmons and Nina Arianda, who play Fred and Ethel Mertz, William Frawley and Vivian Vance, respectively.
Simmons, 66, was surprised to find Lucy’s and Ricky’s neighbors hated each other off camera.
“We’ve all learned from our research that William Frawley and Vivian Vance weren’t best friends, for pretty complicated reasons involving two big egos,” he said. “Surprisingly among the cast.”
And Arianda, 37, found that the flexible and athletic Vance looked nothing like her onscreen housewife character.
“I found a clip, and that was when Desi introduced the characters on stage before the show started,” she said. “And it blew me away that this dancer stepped out and is actually walking on stage.”
Kidman, who will likely win a fifth Oscar nomination next year, said she was always keen to rehearse with her fellow actors. But when Arianda sent emails begging her co-stars to practice, she never received a response from her most important stage partner, Simmons.
“It was baseball season,” he said.