The writer-director tells EW what to expect in Nicole Kidman's performance as Lucille Ball in his next film.

By Devan Coggan
February 03, 2021 at 01:30 PM EST

Aaron Sorkin is no stranger to the Golden Globes: As a screenwriter, he's been nominated seven times, winning twice for 2015's Steve Jobs and 2010's The Social Network. But on Wednesday, he added to his already long list of nominations with his latest project, the timely Netflix ensemble film The Trial of Chicago 7.

Sorkin's insightful drama about seven activists accused of inciting a riot at the 1968 Democratic National Convention scored five nominations in all, the second-most of any film at this year's Globes. In addition to nominations for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor for Sacha Baron Cohen, and Best Original Song, Sorkin himself earned nods for Best Screenplay and Best Director (his first-ever Globe directing nomination).

EW spoke to the 59-year-old writer-director, who said he was "humbled" by the recognition from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and how modern audiences have connected with his retelling of the 1968 protests.

"I always wanted the movie to be about today and not 1968," he tells EW. "I just never in my wildest dreams imagined how much about today it would end up being. I started working on this 15 years ago. We thought the film was plenty relevant last winter when we were making it. We didn't need it to get more relevant, but then it did. [In 2020 in] cities around the country, protests were being met by riot clubs and tear gas, and then as the grand finale, on Jan. 6, Donald Trump stood at a microphone and did exactly what the Chicago 7 were on trial for doing."

"Watching the protests last spring and summer, watching the news coverage of them, I thought if you just degraded the color a little bit on the footage, it would look exactly like the archival footage we used from 1968," he adds.


Trial of the Chicago 7 is Sorkin's second film as writer-director; he previously helmed Molly's Game with Jessica Chastain, and he'll soon begin filming his next project, Being the Ricardos. The upcoming Amazon film stars Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem as married TV legends Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.

"They have a very complicated, fascinating relationship," Sorkin teases. "The movie takes place in one production week of I Love Lucy, [from] the Monday table read to Friday audience taping. There are flashbacks that show how the two of them got together and how I Love Lucy finally happened. But mostly it takes place during this week where, I don't want to be coy, but a big event occurs that I think most people don't know about when they think about Lucille Ball."

Sorkin adds that he hopes Kidman's performance as Ball will shine a new light on the woman behind one of the most iconic sitcoms in Hollywood history.

"The number one thing that makes Nicole the right person for this part is she's a world-class actress," Sorkin adds. "She's phenomenal. The role isn't Lucy Ricardo. It's Lucille Ball. There are moments throughout the film where we see little shards of I Love Lucy, and so she'll be doing her best Lucy Ricardo there. But the meat of the role is not Lucy Ricardo."

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