Lucille Ball's daughter, Lucie Arnaz, has declared her support to Nicole Kidman, whose casting as the legendary "I Love Lucy" star in an upcoming biopic has been met with widespread disapproval.
Many were surprised when it was announced that Kidman, who they said bears little resemblance to Ball, would take on the role of the Hollywood icon in Aaron Sorkin's "Being Ricardos," but in an interview with Palm Springs Life, Arnaz was full of praise for Kidman.
"Nicole did a spectacular job," she said. "The two days that I watched, though, were both little flashbacks, so she was playing Lucy in the late '30s and mid-'40s. She wasn't Lucy of Lucy Ricardo fame yet, so it was a trifle different. And I know she meant it to be, so it could feel different. But boy, what she did was astounding. She's got such poise and class."
Arnaz went on to state that Kidman was not imitating her mother but instead delivering her own performance.
"There are no look-alikes. I mean, nobody was cast because they look exactly like somebody," she said. "They were cast because they're spectacular performers, actors, and they can capture the basic essence of what has been written in this script. And Aaron was adamant about that and thank God. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished product."
Kidman has been honest about her fears and apprehensions of portraying Ball in the biopic in the past. Speaking in an earlier interview with Variety, the actress said she felt like she was "free-falling."
"I am way out of my comfort zone right now," Kidman said. She also admitted to putting in "an enormous amount of time on Lucille Ball right now, because she has a very particular way of speaking." In addition to the pressure she was exerting upon herself, Kidman said she was still dealing with the apprehension of the public, who were mistakenly under the impression that the upcoming production was a remake of "I Love Lucy."
"The strange thing about Lucille Ball is that everyone thinks we're remaking the ‘I Love Lucy’ show, and it's so not that," she said. "It's about Lucy and Desi [Arnaz] and their relationship and their marriage. It's very deep, actually."
Arnaz echoed Kidman's words in a Facebook video posted earlier this year.
"Here's the deal, what you should understand: We are not doing a remake of 'I Love Lucy.' No one has to impersonate Lucy Ricardo nor do the Vitameatavegamin routine or ... any of the silly things," she said, further pointing out that "Being the Ricardos" was a film about Ball and Desi, not the characters they played in the sitcom. The main focus would be on her parent's "relationship, their love affair," she explained.
"I hope I can set the record straight here and say stop arguing about 'Who should play it? She doesn't look like her? The nose isn't the same, she isn't as funny,'" the actress added in her video. "Just trust us. It's gonna be a nice film."
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