Entertainment

How Nicole Kidman Became Lucille Ball: “It’s Horrible!”

“Everything that happens in the movie happens in real life” Aaron Sorkin said at the premiere of Being a Ricardian in New York on Thursday. “With this film, I wanted to show that Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz are not like the characters they are playing. Most importantly, when you ask people what they think of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, what they picture in their heads is Lucy and Ricky Ricardo. It was very difficult for them to separate those people. I want people to see the contrast.”

Writer-director’s newest stars Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem as the beloved TV couple, overcoming their turbulent real-life marriage by starring in the CBS sitcom I love Lucy. The film is set during a tense week on set, interweaving Ball’s possible connection to communism, her pregnancy – a taboo subject on television at the time – and Rumors of an extramarital affair surrounded Arnaz.

Although the film, which opens December 10 in theaters and December 21 on Amazon Prime Video, largely omits specific iconic moments in the sitcom, Sorkin still finds space. for a few — including the famous grape stomping scene in the episode where Lucy Ricardo was trying to star in an Italian movie. “Aaron wasn’t interested in an exact clone of Lucy, but for the grape scene, I felt it was important to copy her in order to understand Lucille better when she was playing a character,” Kidman said. “I studied her every facial expression and every movement. I was obsessed with getting it right. Tracking her movements and timing just shows she’s a genius. ”

Three months before production began, Kidman began working with a dialect coach Thom Jones to capture the voices of both Ball and her TV alter ego. Jones helped Kidman develop Ball’s low voice and Lucy Ricardo’s higher pitched voice. She’s spent most of her time during the COVID-19 lockdown mastering vocals.

“It was horrifying! It was beyond my reach,” she says of learning to speak like Lucy Ricardo. “You don’t usually sit at home, but we were in lockdown in Australia, so I prepared for a few months. Admittedly it’s over Zoom, or I’m sitting in my living room watching I love Lucy showed — and I was like, ‘Psssh, how do I solve this?’ I love drinking and doing everything I can! But after a lot of practice, it worked out both physically and emotionally. ”

Speaking like Ball was also a challenge for Kidman. “Lucille is a heavy smoker, so she has a much deeper voice than I do. I was able to work with my coach who was able to help me lower my voice. And I did it as Virginia Woolf [in The Hours] also. So I did it before. As an actor, that’s something you learn in drama school and you ask, ‘Will I ever use this?’ I mean, I had to pull everything out to try.”

Kidman’s physical transformation involved makeup, a variety of wigs, and minimal prosthetics. Meanwhile, Bardem studied with a dialect coach to perfect Arnaz’s distinctive Cuban accent and took singing and conga lessons to perform Arnaz’s signature songs “Babalu” and “Cuban Pete.” .

“I have never sung before. I only have a month and a half to study. I did a lot of work and applied a lot of hours of effort and effort,” Bardem said. “I have a great teacher, and we did it with Zoom. She really taught me how to enjoy the process, and I actually enjoyed it more than I expected. In the ‘Babalu’ scene, I had too much fun. I beat the drum so hard on the guild that blood came out of my hands! ”

I love Lucy exists as a classic sitcom, but Bardem gives the couple special credit – who divorced in 1960 – for breaking down racial barriers in Hollywood. Thanks to Ball, Arnaz became one of the rare white talents to achieve TV stardom in the 1950s.

“I admire Lucille for working with and fighting for Arnaz to be on the show. He is an immigrant and is not accepted by society. Her career may have ended because of him, but she did the opposite and helped change people’s attitudes towards Cubans and immigrants as well as racism,” he said. “It was the deep passion and love that they had for each other, and even when they decided to separate, they still had respect. That’s something we can all learn from them. “

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https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2021/12/nicole-kidman-being-the-ricardos-lucille-ball How Nicole Kidman Became Lucille Ball: “It’s Horrible!”

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