'Being the Ricardos' Director Not Worried About Nicole Kidman Casting Criticism

Defending his choice of leading lady for the upcoming film, Oscar winner Aaron Sorkin stresses that he is not looking for a physical or vocal impersonation of Lucille Ball.

AceShowbiz - Acclaimed writer/director Aaron Sorkin has again lashed out at those slamming the casting of Nicole Kidman as comedienne Lucille Ball in his upcoming film "Being the Ricardos".

The Oscar winner cast the Australian as the beloved TV funnywoman in his Amazon Studios movie "Being the Ricardos", which will be released next month (December 2021), and fans were fuming from the start that Kidman looks nothing like the "I Love Lucy" icon.

Now Aaron has responded to the criticism once more, telling The Hollywood Reporter he wasn't worried about his actors resembling their real life characters. "I am not looking for a physical or vocal impersonation of these people," he notes of casting Nicole as Lucy and Javier Bardem as her on- and offscreen husband, Desi Arnaz.

"So, finding an actress who looked like Lucille Ball wasn't important to me, especially because I was excited by the idea that Lucille Ball doesn't look like Lucille Ball [in her private life] - and that every time we're seeing Lucille Ball not as [TV character] Lucy Ricardo, she should both literally and metaphorically let her hair down. Let her be what she's not allowed to be on TV in 1952 on CBS. Let her be a woman. Let her be sexy. You weren't allowed to be sexy on TV."

Aaron tells the outlet he instructed his cast members to "just play the characters who are in the script...," instead of mimicking the TV stars, though he raves his leading lady really channeled her alter ego.

"When Nicole, as Lucille Ball, plays Lucy Ricardo, I think she does an incredible job of mimicking Lucy," Aaron adds. "As far as audience anticipation, that's something I'm just not worried about. I'm certain that when people see the movie, they'll leave feeling that Nicole has made a very solid case for herself."

And Aaron wasn't at all surprised by the criticism and attention Nicole's casting prompted, with even "Will & Grace" star Debra Messing - who had played Ball to great acclaim on her show and looks much more like the comedy legend - campaigning for the role.

"I was aware that for the actress who gets cast, we're asking a lot of her and we're putting her in the crosshairs, so I want to do right by that actress. I really want to build a ship that won't sink," he explains of standing firmly behind his creative choices.

"What I needed was someone who absolutely owns it. And you're going to choose from a small pool of world-class actresses... This was going to be a kind of tour de force performance. And then when Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem and J.K. Simmons and Nina Arianda say they want to do your movie, your casting search is over."

"Being the Ricardos" will open in U.K. and U.S. cinemas on December 10 and premiere on Amazon Prime Video on December 21.

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