Lucie Arnaz has broken her silence on the casting controversy for the upcoming biopic about her mother, Lucille Ball. The film, titled Being the Ricardos, will look back at the personal and working relationship of the 1950s sitcom star and her bandleader husband, Desi Arnaz.
After it was reported that Nicole Kidman is in talks to play the redheaded comedy legend in Aaron Sorkin’s long-buzzed-about Amazon Studios movie, some fans took issue with the casting choice.
Arnaz, the oldest child of the late I Love Lucy star, posted a video to Instagram to address the controversy while revealing that Kidman’s name was “leaked” before contracts were signed.
In her message, which can be seen below, Arnaz spoke to social media commenters who have insisted that Debra Messing or even elderly actress Carol Cook should have been cast to portray Ball instead of the Australian actress.
“No one has to impersonate Lucy Ricardo nor do the Vitameatavegamin routine or… any of the silly things,” Arnaz explained. “It’s the story of Lucille Ball, my actual mother, not Lucy Ricardo, and her husband, Desi Arnaz, my dad, not Ricky Ricardo.”
Arnaz noted that while the biopic is set around a week of the production of the classic sitcom, “very little” is actually “‘I Love Lucy’-type stuff,” so Ball’s signature slapstick style won’t be a focus in the film.
She added that while there will be “humor” in the script, the story is mostly about how her parents met, the ups and downs of their hit show, and what went wrong with their love story.
And for those who still want to complain about Kidman’s role, Arnaz made it clear: The acting is a “done deal.”
“Aaron has done a wonderful job of bringing these characters to life, and it’s just a little… slice of life in their journey,” she said. “So I hope I can set the record straight here, and just say, stop arguing about who should play her. ‘She doesn’t look like her, her nose isn’t the same, she isn’t as funny’…Just trust us, it’s going to be a nice film, and p.s. the voting is over.”
While Arnaz promised fans they won’t be disappointed, some of her Instagram followers were still very confused by the casting choice of Kidman. Others thanked Arnaz for calming the waters with her classy explanation. And others pointed out that if Ball’s own daughter is okay with it, why shouldn’t the fans be?
In addition to Kidman, actor Javier Bardem has been cast to play Desi Arnaz in the biopic.