Turning legendary Hollywood icon Lucille Ball into an actress was a big leap for Nicole Kidman, but she stuck to her guns even after going off script.
“I said to myself, ‘I don’t want to believe that I’m capable,’” Kidman told Entertainment Weekly. “‘I’m going to just trust you, trust this woman as an actor, trust her instinct.’”
Ball is portrayed by Kidman in “Being the Ricardos,” a new telepic premiering Wednesday (Tuesday in the U.K.), which is about Ball and her relationship with her husband, Desi Arnaz, who died in 1986. The real-life couple, who became a comic team in the 1930s, inspired many of the characters on the original “I Love Lucy.”
While growing up in Sydney, Australia, Kidman’s family enjoyed watching reruns of the show every Sunday, and she had always wanted to be on the show. She told the magazine that Ball inspired her as an actress and believed she could do a great job if given the chance.
But she had doubts about her ability to portray Ball, known as “The Queen of Comedy,” and found it daunting. She had her doubts about the film after failing to nail a scene in a February rehearsal.
“I pulled back. I was like, ‘OK, I don’t think I’m capable,’” Kidman said.
But the director, Lorenzo di Bonaventura, told her he was confident in her, and convinced her she could pull it off. After shooting all the scenes, Kidman says she was thrilled with the final result.
“I had my doubts, but the performance became more important than any of those doubts that came with the movie,” she said.