One of the most talked-about films of this fall, “Being the Ricardos,” has gone through quite a rollercoaster ride over the past year. Now, it’s being discussed as a serious Oscar contender, with stars Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem being mentioned as potential Best Actress and Best Actor nominees, respectively. But when those two were initially announced as the stars of Aaron Sorkin’s film, film fans were confused, with some being upset by the choices. And Kidman heard that outrage.
Speaking during an interview on “Live with Kelly and Ryan,” Nicole Kidman talked about the anxiety she felt after reading the script for “Being the Ricardos” and accepting the offer to play Lucille Ball. She said the pressure of the role, followed by the backlash when people online said she wasn’t right for the film, led to her talking to Aaron Sorkin and a producer on the film to try to step away.
“Initially it’s like, Aaron Sorkin wrote this screenplay that you read and you cannot put down,” Kidman explained. “And I say to people, ‘If you can get your hands on this screenplay, read it because it’s such a good read.’ It’s as good as a great novel.”
She added, “When the reality of playing her hit me, I went, ‘What I have said yes to?’ To which I then went, ‘Oh no, I’m not right. Everyone thinks I’m not right, so I’m going to try to sidestep this.’ The producer Todd Black and Aaron Sorkin were both like, ‘Absolutely not.’ I was in Australia and they were like, ‘No.’ And thank God, because then I was so grateful because I got to fall in love with her.”
Obviously, Kidman is grateful for having played Ball in the film, especially with all the awards season buzz happening now. However, it’s interesting that she was initially going to pass on the role after the casting backlash. Of course, she’s not the only actor that was targeted, as many people were also upset with Bardem playing Desi Arnaz, as the actor is Spanish and Arnaz was Cuban-American. We’ve seen Sorkin previously fight back against the backlash and show support for his stars.
Film fans will get a chance to judge for themselves if Kidman is right for the role when “Being the Ricardos” hits theaters on December 10.