In the latest installment of Variety‘s Actors on Actors interview, Nicole Kidman and Chris Rock got deep on their careers, hinting that they used to hang out when Kidman was dating one of Rock’s “rock and roll” friends. While they didn’t name names (it’s definitely Lenny Kravitz, right?), their real-life friendship made for a loose and interesting conversation. During the chat, Kidman opened up about her upcoming role playing Lucille Ball in Aaron Sorkin’s Being The Ricardos.
“I’ve had to put in an enormous amount of time on Lucille Ball right now, because she has a very particular way of speaking,” Kidman explained. Rock agreed, saying that Ball was “just one of the most talented people to ever roam the earth.” Kidman admits that taking on the role hasn’t been the easiest to take on. “I am way out of my comfort zone right now, Chris! I’m free-falling,” said Kidman. “I’d like to be funny. I’m never cast funny.”
After Rock quips that she “better be funny,” Kidman explains that the film isn’t a remake of I Love Lucy. “Lucille Ball is hopefully funny,” Kidman said. “The strange thing about Lucille Ball is that everyone thinks we’re remaking the I Love Lucy show, and it’s so not that. It’s about Lucy and Desi and their relationship and their marriage. It’s very deep, actually.”
Kidman continued, calling Ball a “trailblazer” and an icon. “She formed her production company,” The Undoing actress explained. “Desi was Cuban, and she had to fight to get him on the show. They had just so many things in their marriage that are so relevant today, and what she was also dealing with in terms of everything that artists deal with, where you’re up against big corporations. And you’re like, ‘No, this is art.'”
This account from Kidman is in line with Ball and Arnaz’s daughter Lucie Arnaz’s statement on the matter. Arnaz has been involved in the filmmaking process and is certain that the film will preserve her parents’ legacy. “We are not doing a remake of I Love Lucy. No one has to impersonate Lucy Ricardo nor do the Vitameatavegamin routine, or the chocolate factory routine or any of the silly things,” Arnaz said in a Facebook video. “It’s the story of Lucille Ball, my actual mother, not Lucy Ricardo, and her husband, Dezi Arnaz, my dad, not Ricky Ricardo.”