It is a decision that has raised more than a few eyebrows as teasers for the film have been published.
The Oscar-winning screenwriter defended his choice to cast Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem as Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, respectively, during his first in-depth interview about his impending directorial project “Being the Ricardos,” with The Hollywood Reporter.
Fans of “I Love Lucy” have criticized Kidman’s casting because she does not resemble the actual Lucille Ball, and previews for the film have sparked accusations that she does not sound like her. When it came to casting, Sorkin stated he was unconcerned about any of it. Before attempting to emulate the actual Lucille Ball, he wanted Kidman to portray the role he created on the page.
“We made this movie during COVID, and so in Zooming with Nicole and Javier 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,” Sorkin said.
“Leading up to the first rehearsal, I’d write to them every day, ‘Just play the characters who are in the script.’ I know that Nicole was working on Lucy’s voice for a while, and I wanted to relieve her of that.”
Sorkin continued, “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.”
Sorkin also told the publication that he started the casting process with Ball and focused on “a small pool of world-class actresses.”
“This isn’t for beginners, as Lucy says,” Sorkin remarked. “This was going to be a kind of tour de force performance.”
Sorkin additionally disclosed how the “casting hunt is over” when performers like Kidman, Bardem, Nina Arianda, and Oscar winner J.K. Simmons, who play Vivian Vance and William Frawley, show interest in joining the project.
“Being the Ricardos” will be released in theaters on December 10 and on Prime Video on December 21.
Reactions to Aaron Sorkin Defends His Casting Decisions For “Being the Ricardos”
not gonna expect anything that focuses on Lucille Ball’s communism in Hollywood when it’s written by Aaron Sorkin of all people. that’s more troubling than Nicole Kidman not quite looking like her.— 𝗏𝖺𝗀𝗂𝗇𝖺 𝗆𝖺𝗀𝗂𝖼 ✨ (@vodkabooty) November 11, 2021
This is a good time to note that Aaron Sorkin isn’t a good writer and he simply just a mediocre white man who’s constantly failed upwards— House of Bussy, JD (they/them) 🏳️🌈 (@abrowngaywrites) November 12, 2021