Nicole Kidman knows she has a tough job ahead of her.
The Oscar winner, who will play Lucille Ball in the upcoming movie “Being the Ricardos,” told Chris Rock that taking on the legendary sitcom star is proving to be quite a challenge.
“I am way out of my comfort zone right now, Chris. I’m free-falling,” she told Rock while they spoke during part of the Variety Studio: Actors on Actors series.
Kidman is also aware that portraying Ball offers her a chance to go against type.
“I’d like to be funny. I’m never cast funny,” she said.
“Oh, you could be funny,” Rock replied. “You’re playing Lucille Ball. You better be funny.
“Lucille Ball is hopefully funny,” Kidman responded. “The strange thing about Lucille Ball is that everyone thinks we’re remaking the ‘I Love Lucy’ show, and it’s so not that. It’s about Lucy and Desi (Arnaz) and their relationship and their marriage. It’s very deep, actually.”
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Aaron Sorkin is directing “Being the Ricardos,” while Javier Bardem will play Arnaz. The film has the blessing of Ball and Arnaz’s daughter, Lucie Arnaz.
“There will be humor in the film, but it is a story of the two of them and how they met and what went right with finding the show, what went wrong, their relationship, their love affair,” she said in January.
Kidman said the role has required her to work on her voice.
“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,” she said.
Kidman knows tackling Ball is a big deal because of what she accomplished in her career that set the stage for women who followed her.
“She was a trailblazer,” Kidman said. “She formed her production company. Desi was Cuban, and she had to fight to get him on the show.
“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.’”
Kidman had previously said she was looking forward to testing her acting chops by playing Ball.
“I was like, ‘Yeah, I would love to give it a go,’” Kidman told Variety in January. “With Aaron’s words and his direction and Javier ... that’s kind of a wonderful prospect to, you know. But yikes, off we go. Give it a go. Try my best — see if I can do it.”