Nicole Kidman Reveals the Biggest Challenge in Playing Lucille Ball

Nicole Kidman Brings Her Kids to Their 1st Movie Premiere

What kind of acting role challenges Nicole Kidman? How about one of the most trailblazing women in comedy.

The Oscar-winning actress, known for her dramatic onscreen performances, plays I Love Lucy‘s Lucille Ball in Aaron Sorkin‘s upcoming Amazon Studios biopic Being the Ricardos, which focuses on the late sitcom star’s turbulent relationship with co-star and real-life husband Dezi Arnaz, played by Javier Bardem. In a remote video chat with comedian Chris Rock, recorded for the Variety Studio: Actors on Actors series and posted on Thursday, June 10, Kidman discussed her new movie role.

“I am way out of my comfort zone right now, Chris,” the actress told the actor, who is not involved with the film. “I’m free-falling.” 

Kidman continued, “I’d like to be funny. I’m never cast funny.” Rock responded, “Oh, you could be funny. You’re playing Lucille Ball. You better be funny,” to which the actress replied, “Lucille Ball is hopefully funny.”

Kidman also talked about how she works on modifying her accent for her acting roles. “I’ve had to put in an enormous amount of time on Lucille Ball right now,” she said, “because she has a very particular rhythm and way of speaking.”

Ball and Arnaz wed in 1940 and played a married couple on the sitcom I Love Lucy, which aired for six seasons until 1957 and remains one of the most famous American shows of all time. Ball and Arnaz went on to reprise their roles on The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour, a spinoff series of specials that lasted three seasons and ended in 1960, the year the couple divorced. After their split, they both continued acting and Ball was the star of a few more sitcoms bearing her name.

Their kids, Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz Jr., were made executive producers of Being the Ricardos. News about Kidman and Bardem’s involvement in the movie was announced this past January. Since then, the actors have occasionally been spotted on set, in character.

See a photo of Kidman as Ball and other actors portraying real-life people onscreen:

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Nicole Kidman as Lucille Ball

The Oscar-winning actress plays the late I Love Lucy star in Aaron Sorkin‘s film Being the Ricardos.

Hulu; Patrick Riviere/Getty Images

Lily James as Pamela Anderson

The English actress transformed into one of Hollywood’s most celebrated sex symbols, Pamela Anderson, for the upcoming Hulu miniseries, Pam & Tommy.

Hulu; Robert Knight Archive/Redferns

Sebastian Stan as Tommy Lee

The actor dropped jaws after showing off his epic makeover as the Mötley Crüe rock star, Tommy Lee. Sebastian will play the musician for the new Hulu miniseries, Pam & Tommy.

Netflix; Philip Barr via ZUMA Wire

Christian Serratos as Selena Quintanilla

The actress portrayed the late Tejano star and Mexican American legend, Selena Quintanilla, for the Netflix show, Selena: The Series.

Takashi Seida/Paramount Pictures; Everett/Shutterstock

Andra Day as Billie Holiday

Andra Day earned her first Golden Globe win for her role as the iconic singer in the biopic, The United States Vs. Billie Holiday.

LIONSGATE/Getty Images

Charlize Theron as Megyn Kelly

The Oscar winner and chameleon extraordinaire had fans doing a double-take when the trailer for Bombshell first premiered. In it, Charlize stars alongside Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbie as the Fox News employees who helped take Roger Ailes‘ career down after he was accused of sexual misconduct. 

Paramount Pictures/Shutterstock, Michael Putland/Getty Images

Taron Egerton as Elton John

In Rocketman, the British actor played one of the most iconic musicians in the history of rock ‘n’ roll.

Shutterstock/Sony Pictures; AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

Tom Hanks as Mister Rogers

The actor played the late Fred Rogers in the 2019 movie You Are My Friend.

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Fred A. Sabine/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Jennifer Hudson as Aretha Franklin

The singer and actress will take on the role of playing the Queen of Soul in an upcoming biopic about her life. It’s set to release in August 2021.

Focus Features/Kobal/Shutterstock; Michael Kovac/Getty Images

Felicity Jones as Ruth Bader Ginsburg

After Natalie Portman dropped out, Felicity stepped in to play the late Supreme Court Justice in On the Basis of Sex, a biopic directed by Mimi Leder.

Clubhouse Pictures/Kobal/Shutterstock; David Madison/Getty Images

Margot Robbie as Tonya Harding

The actress produced and starred in I, Tonya, based on the disgraced figure skater’s life.

HBO Films; KPA/ZUMA

Anthony Mackie as Martin Luther King Jr.

The actor played the civil rights leader opposite Bryan Cranston as President Lyndon B. Johnson in HBO’s All the Way.

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Jessica Lange as Joan Crawford

The Oscar winner stepped into the shoes of the late movie legend in Feud, Ryan Murphy‘s FX series about the making of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

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Susan Sarandon as Bette Davis

The Dead Man Walking star played the acting legend in Feud.

Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images; Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Benedict Cumberbatch as Thomas Edison

The Oscar-nominated actor portrayed the famed inventor of the light bulb in Current War.

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images; Sony Pictures Classics/Shutterstock

Tom Hiddleston as Hank Williams

The British actor starred as the late country singer in the 2015 film, I Saw the Light.

Christian Simonpietri/Sygma/VCG via Getty Images; Jim Spellman/Getty Images

Johnny Flynn as David Bowie

The Lovesick star played the late rock legend in the 2020 biopic, Stardust

IM Global/Tim Boyl/Getty Images

Parker Sawyers as Barack Obama

Parker Sawyers played the former president in Southside With You, a romantic dramedy loosely based on Barack’s first date with Michelle Obama back in 1989.

IM Global/Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo Bank

Tika Sumpter as Michelle Obama

Tika Sumpter starred as the former First Lady in Southside With You.

Getty Images, Shutterstock

Odette Annable as Trudy Cooper

“She was a groundbreaking woman, so ahead of her time. It’s such an honor to play her,” Odette previously told E! News of her Astronaut Wives Club character, who was an extremely skilled pilot in her own right.

Shutterstock, ABC/VIVIAN ZINK

Kerry Washington as Anita Hill

The Scandal star took on the role of the aide who accused U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual assault in 1991 in HBO’s biopic Confirmation.

Bachrach/Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Michael Keaton as Ray Kroc

The Oscar nominee starred in The Founder, a biopic about the founder of the McDonald’s empire.

Mike Marsland/WireImage/JC Olivera/Getty Images

Selma Blair as Kris Jenner

The Kardashians are headed to TV in a very different after being portrayed in Ryan Murphy‘s American Crime Story: The People V O.J. Simpson. Selma Blair played Kris Jenner, who was married to Simpson’s attorney Robert Kardashian.

Ron Galella/WireImage; Clint Brewer / Splash News

David Schwimmer as Robert Kardashian

The Friends actor portrayed the late Kardashian patriarch in FX’s American Crime Story.

Getty Images

Jack O’Connell as Alexander McQueen

The Unbroken star was set to take on the role of the late designer in a film about his life. However, in 2020, it was announced he is being replaced.

Jeff Katz / Liaison Agency; KVS, PacificCoastNews

John Travolta as Robert Shapiro

Travolta starred as O.J. Simpson’s lawyer in FX’s American Crime Story.

Creative Commons; Working Title Films

Eddie Redmayne as Lili Elbe

The Oscar winner played the transgender pioneer in The Danish Girl.

AP Photo/Paul Sakuma;Getty Images

Michael Fassbender as Steve Jobs

The Irish hunk stepped into the Apple co-founder’s shoes in Danny Boyles‘ biopic.

Getty Images/The Weinstein Company

Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing

In The Imitation Game, the Sherlock star took on the role of the English mathematician who helped crack the German Enigma code during World War II.

Ernst Haas/Ernst Haas/Getty Images/Paramount

David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King Jr.

The British actor portrayed the iconic civil rights activist in the film Selma, which chronicled his crusade for equal voting rights.

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