Cast Interview for Being the Ricardos on Prime Video

By 12/21/2021 12:09:00 PM , ,

To learn more about Amazon Studios's "Being the Ricardos", I joined a virtual interview with the cast including Nicole Kidman, Javier Bardem, J.K. Simmons and Nina Arianda, in connection with the films release on Prime Video on December 21st.

Note: I was invited as media by Amazon Studios for movie screening and film cast interview. However any personal views expressed are always 100% my own.

Here are a few highlights on what the cast shared about their characters and first thoughts after reading the screenplay.

The Appeal of Playing Desi & Lucille

Being the Ricardos Cast Interview

Javier Bardem: His absolute confidence in himself and how supportive his was of his wife and the whole show. Also how he over come the obstacles by a strong sense of humor. He was making fun of everything. That didn't mean he didn't take it seriously, but he didn't get stuck in the drama of it all.

Nicole Kidman: I did freak out about "How do I actually create Lucille Ball". But Aaron was fantastic, he was so consistent in his belief that I got this. He saw how he wanted it and it took me time to give over to that. And when I did I went OK. But in the process I was able to work on the actual "Lucy" part of it.

Nicole Kidman: I tried to work on just getting the little baby steps, like in her voice. I worked on it slowly, meticulous, methodically. Watching the show, listening to the voice. Doing all the preparation, which is unusual for me, because a lot of time I'll start really inside, but the inside of it was already there.

Because I could relate to her. I could feel her, it was so beautifully written.

Portraying Two Different Lives of Character

Being the Ricardos Cast Interview

Nina Arianda: For me it was really important to honor the physical difference between the two. Because they were so extreme. Vivian Vance was a wonderful dancer, she was a leading lady, and Ethel was Ethel. All the research I wanted for Ethel, I had, but for Vivian, it was a little tougher.

A producer had sent me a clip that was a couple of seconds long. It was simply Desi introducing Vivian to the audience right before they were taping. It was really eye opening for me, because out came this women with a long spine, her shoulders back to the stage, took a graceful bow and left.

I just saw a completely different woman and I became so obsessed with her background. For me it was about trying to be respectful, as I could, to these very different bodies.

J.K. Simmons: As Nina said, we all had plenty footage of "I Love Lucy" to watch, so those few moments when were expected to mimic aspects of the show, that was very clear.

About William Frawley, much less video that I can find outside his films and appearances on "I Love Lucy". No talk shows, no anything on video or even a book. So all of my research was through the perspective of Vivian, Lucille, Desi and Jess Oppenheimer in some audio interviews.

J.K. Simmons: And in a way I found that to be sorta of freeing, in terms of how I portrayed off camera Bill, which is 98 percent of the movie. He was, honestly not that dissimilar then the cranky landlord Fred Mertz. But the beauty of what we all got is to see multiple aspects of all these characters, as they relate to each other at different times.

What Stood Out About Screenplay

Nina Arianda: It was such a brilliant first read. The thing that jumped off the page for me was, just how relentless the stake are. Everything you could possibly want. And it's just continuous till the end of the story.

J.K. Simmons: Any actor that reads an Aaron Sorkin script is immediately astounded and excited to work on it. Being the Ricardos is an interesting beast because it’s a drama about a comedy. And it explores an aspect of the lives of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz that even people who are real fans may find surprising.

Javier Bardem: The exquisiteness of the script is that, it goes to different places. It really reunites all  aspects of them in the marriage, as a couple, as artists, as colleagues and everything is so well put together. That makes it exciting to perform it, but also to watch it. It's very full of different details, to give you a good idea of, who they were and what they were doing back in the day.

Nicole Kidman: They had Desilu, the production studio, and no other actors had something like that during that time. She was the first of her kind. She's one of a kind.

The thing that this film does is pull the curtain back. It's not the "I Love Lucy" show, it's was that made and who was this person, that was capable of that genius. What was her story? what was her life?

Nicole Kidman: This is not a storytelling of her life birth trough death. This is the Aaron Sorkin storytelling where he compresses a number of things into a week, and then is able to show the essence of who this woman was. And who these people were.

Being the Ricardos in Theaters & Amazon Prime Video

Amazon Studios released BEING THE RICARDOS in theaters on December 10th, 2021 and globally on Prime Video on December 21st, 2021.

Being the Ricardos - Official Trailer | Prime Video


Lucille Ball (Nicole Kidman) and Desi Arnaz (Javier Bardem) are threatened by shocking personal accusations, a political smear, and cultural taboos in behind-the-scenes drama Being the Ricardos.

A revealing glimpse of the couple’s complex romantic and professional relationship, the film takes audiences into the writers’ room, onto the soundstage, and behind closed doors with Ball and Arnaz during one critical production week of their groundbreaking sitcom I Love Lucy.

Starring Nicole Kidman, Javier Bardem, Jake Lacy, J.K. Simmons, Nina Arianda, Tony Hale, and Alia Shawkat

Written and Directed by Academy Award®-winning Aaron Sorkin

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