Nicole Kidman Says Playing Lucille Ball Is 'Way Out of My Comfort Zone'

Kidman talked about her upcoming role with Chris Rock in Variety's Actors on Actors series.

Nicole Kidman may be an Oscar-winning actress, but even she gets intimidated by certain roles.

The actress opened up to Chris Rock about her role as Lucille Ball in the biopic Being the Ricardos, where she revealed that she is "way out of my comfort zone." The two, who interviewed each other for Variety's Actors on Actors, began by touching on Kidman taking on different accents, before digging into her latest role.

"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 told Rock. "She is up there…I am way out of my comfort zone right now, Chris. I’m free-falling."

Javier Bardem is taking on the role of Ball's husband, Desi Arnaz. Kidman's casting in the Aaron Sorkin-directed movie raised eyebrows as other actresses campaigned for the part -- but Ball and Arnaz's daughter, Lucie Arnaz, had full confidence she was the right choice.

"The strange thing about Lucille Ball is that everyone thinks we’re remaking the I Love Lucy Show, and it’s so not that," Kidman explained. "It’s about Lucy and Desi and their relationship and their marriage. It’s very deep, actually.”

"She was a trailblazer. She formed her production company. Desi was Cuban, and she had to fight to get him on the show," she continued. "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.'"

Elsewhere in the interview, Rock asked her what type of role she'd like to do, to which she replied, "I'd like to be funny. I'm never cast as funny."

"Oh, you could be funny. You’re playing Lucille Ball. You better be funny," added Rock.


Sorkin previously teased to ET that Kidman and Bardem were "going to be fantastic." "I think that the people thought that we've cast them as Lucy and Ricky Ricardo," he said. "The film takes place during a production week of I Love Lucy -- a Monday table read to Friday audience taping, with a whole bunch of long flashbacks which are telling the story that got us here -- and because there's a table read, there's rehearsals and then there's tape night, we do see moments of them being Lucy and Ricky Ricardo."

"We see moments from an episode of I Love Lucy. But mostly they are playing Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball. And they're going to be fantastic," Sorkin added. "These are two of the greatest actors ever."

The 14th season of Variety and PBS SoCal’s Emmy-winning series Variety’s Actors on Actors premieres on June 18 on PBS SoCal. For more on Kidman talking about her role as Ball, see below.



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