Nicole Kidman is Lucille Ball in the first trailer for the highly anticipated “Being the Ricardos” (in theaters Dec. 10, streaming on Amazon Prime Dec. 21). The film co-stars Javier Bardem as Ball’s husband, Desi Arnaz, and is written and directed by Aaron Sorkin, returning to the awards race after last year’s “The Trial of the Chicago 7.”
The movie is set during a week of production of “I Love Lucy,” the popular 1950s sitcom that Ball and Arnaz starred in together for six seasons. The film delves into their personal and professional strife, and will feature four musical numbers, Sorkin revealed in a recent interview with Turner Classic Movies host Ben Mankiewicz.
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“I get paid a fortune to do exactly what I love doing,” Kidman says in voiceover as Ball in the “Ricardos” trailer. “I work side by side with my husband who is genuinely impressed by me. And all I have to do it is kill for 36 weeks in a row. And then, do it again the next year.”
Kidman’s face is mostly obscured throughout the minute-and-a-half teaser, although there is a brief shot of her hamming it up in a vat of grapes, in a scene from the classic “I Love Lucy” episode “Lucy’s Italian Vacation.” The show’s iconic theme music and title cards are also recreated in the trailer.
“You know I did this show so Desi and I could be together?” Kidman says. “I had no idea it was gonna be a hit.”
The movie has the full approval of the couple’s real-life daughter, Lucie Arnaz, 70. The actress revealed her thoughts in an Instagram video posted late last week, calling the film “amazing.”
“Nicole Kidman became my mother’s soul,” Arnaz said. “She crawled into her head. I don’t know how you do that. She cared very deeply about this part and it shows.”
Speaking to Chris Rock as part of Variety’s Actors on Actors series earlier this year, Kidman revealed the challenging prep work that went into “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 said, adding that she is rarely cast in comedic roles. “I am way out of my comfort zone right now.”
But the film is by no means a feature-length remake of “I Love Lucy.”
“It’s about Lucy and Desi and their relationship and their marriage,” Kidman explained. “It’s very deep, actually.”