Nicole Kidman Says Playing Lucille Ball Got 'Frightening' After Intense Casting Backlash!

With the release of Aaron Sorkin’s highly anticipated Lucille Ball biopic Being The Ricardos fast approaching, leading lady Nicole Kidman is opening up about how the backlash over her casting affected her performance!

As Perezcious readers will recall, social media was abuzz after it was announced that Kidman had landed the iconic role. Many fans argued Debra Messing would have been a better fit to honor the I Love Lucy star’s legacy, mostly because of how similar the two looked, but also their similar history of being sitcom stars. Even last month when a teaser dropped, Nicole was the center of negativity as Messing’s name trended yet again.

After staying silent about the controversy for months, the actress is finally addressing fans’ outrage.

During a Q&A after an early screening of the Amazon Prime Video release, the 54-year-old admitted, according to Variety:

“I had massive trepidation about a month prior, and Aaron had to get on the phone and send me emails saying, ‘You’ve got this.’”

Even with the director’s support, the Big Little Lies star dealt with a lot of fear. She added:

“It was frightening but incredibly exciting.”

Innerestingly, Sorkin also spoke in defense of his casting choices last week, telling The Hollywood Reporter that, while making the film, he didn’t care so much about depicting Lucille or her partner Desi Arnaz (played by Javier Bardem) exactly as they were, explaining:

“We made this movie during COVID, and so in Zooming with Nicole and Javier Bardem and everyone else, I’d make it very clear to them that I am not looking for a physical or vocal impersonation of these people.”

While he knew the Oscar-winning actress had already put in a LOT of work to nail Ball’s unique voice, the West Wing creator insisted he cared more about telling the best story possible versus recreating specific mannerisms perfectly, continuing:

“I know that Nicole was working on Lucy’s voice for a while, and I wanted to relieve her of that. As far as audience anticipation, that’s something I’m just not worried about. I’m certain that when people see the movie, they’ll leave feeling that Nicole has made a very solid case for herself.”

Already, it seems like the filmmaker was right. Early reviews of the movie have been incredibly positive, with many notable critics predicting the American-Australian will snag a Best Actress Oscar nomination. Wow!!

Variety editor Clayton Davis wrote:

“Kidman embodies the essence of Lucille Ball, especially in her mannerisms during the rehearsals and filming of episodes. She very well may break your heart, demanding the viewer’s sympathy and a best actress nomination may seem almost certainly in the cards for her.”

Similarly, Collider’s Perri Nemiroff reflected:

Being The Ricardos left me in a puddle of tears. What a beautiful and deeply moving behind-the-scenes look at the pressures and complexities involved in making that show – highs, lows, and everything in between. Nicole Kidman is INCREDIBLE.”

Even TCM host Dave Karger insisted:

“Last night’s first big screening of Being The Ricardos definitely silenced the skeptics. A 5th Oscar nomination for Nicole Kidman seems especially likely.”

This overwhelming praise has got to be a great ego boost for the movie star!! Being The Ricardos, premiering December 10 on Amazon, follows Lucille and her husband Desi throughout a week on the set of I Love Lucy. It promises to deliver a “revealing glimpse of the couple’s complex romantic and professional relationship, that takes audiences into the writers’ room, onto the soundstage, and behind closed doors.” Ch-ch-check out a trailer (below)!

Reactions, Perezcious readers? Can U believe Kidman really doubted her ability to tackle the role after trolls online called out the controversial casting? Let us know in the comments (below)!

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