Lucille Ball's daughter says fans 'won't be disappointed' with Nicole Kidman playing her mom
Lucie Arnaz spoke out against people criticizing Nicole Kidman's reported role as Lucille Ball in Aaron Sorkin's new movie.
In a Facebook video posted Sunday, Lucie Arnaz — the 69-year-old daughter of Ball and Desi Arnaz — addressed fans who spoke out against recent news that Kidman and Javier Bardem were in talks to play her parents in the planned film Being the Ricardos.
"It's a done deal, but the contracts aren't actually signed, which is why I haven't said anything publicly about it, but i felt I should at least try to calm the waters here," Arnaz said. "There seems to be a lot of discussion about Nicole Kidman [and people saying] it should be Debra Messing.... I don't know, but here's the deal and what you should understand: We're not doing a remake of I Love Lucy. No one has to impersonate Lucy Ricardo [or do] any of the silly things. It's the story of Lucille Ball, my actual mother — not Lucy Ricardo — and her husband, Desi Arnaz, my dad — not Ricky Ricardo."
Arnaz went on to praise Sorkin's treatment of their story, adding that "there will be humor in the film," but that it's not a biopic.
"It is a story of the two of them and how they met, and what went right with finding the show and what went wrong, their relationship, their love affair," she continued. "It's going to have I Love Lucy in it — as a matter of fact, Aaron Sorkin has set it on the stage of filming, one week of rehearsing and filming the show, and all this other stuff takes place during that time."
She said that fans won't be disappointed by the finished product, which will run as a "slice of life in their journey," and closed her statement by begging viewers to stop arguing about who should play the role and trust the creative process.
EW confirmed last week that Kidman and Bardem were in discussions to take on the roles of one of the most famous TV couples in history, who starred on I Love Lucy across six seasons between 1951 and 1957.
Following the news, social media users quickly voiced support for Messing, who previously portrayed Ball on a tribute episode of Will & Grace. Actress Valerie Bertinelli tweeted that Messing was "robbed" of the role, while another Twitter user wrote that Messing must have been "unavailable" for the part, to which she responded: "Oh no, I'm available."
In a 2020 interview with EW, Messing recalled connecting with Arnaz during the Ball tribute episode.
"I just kept getting very weepy leading up to it because I thought it was just such a beautiful thing. And when I was just finished with my hair and makeup, she came to hair and makeup for us to meet in person, and it would be right before I was going to go out to do a scene. She walked in and she looked at me and she just stood there with this big smile on her face and did not say a word for, it felt like forever. And she hugged me and I hugged her, and she pulled away and she said, 'It feels so good to hug you. It's been a long time,'" Messing said. "And everyone in the room started to cry. She said, "This is unbelievable. I know that this has been a lifelong dream of yours. And I'm so glad that we were able to make this happen." And she said, "And you look absolutely incredible." And then I had to go shoot a scene and as I walked away she said, "Break a leg, mom." And everyone broke down for crying. It was… [sighs]."