Nicole Kidman and her “Being the Ricardos” co-star Javier Bardem opened up about what it was like to get to know the real-life characters they embody, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.
The duo stars in the upcoming movie from writer Aaron Sorkin that details a particularly eventful week in the life of the couple who were married on-screen and off while working on the show “I Love Lucy” from 1951 to 1957. To promote the film’s Dec. 10 release, the duo has been discussing in-depth what it was like to both learn about their real-life counterparts as well as capture the unparalleled chemistry they had together.
“I mean, all of it. All of it,” Kidman said when asked by CBS Sunday Morning what surprised her about Lucille Ball. “The way [she and Desi] built a production company, how they were such a team. I didn’t know how clever she was, how she’d always say she wasn’t funny. So, I mean, you name it, I didn’t know it!”
Bardem, meanwhile, noted that he was struck by the “powerful love story” at the heart of one of America’s most beloved sitcoms.
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Between these two people that created this amazing show, and the price you have to pay for that in some ways, they were exposing themselves in a way,” he explained.
As for capturing the real-life chemistry the two shared, Bardem noted in an interview with The “Today” show’s “Sunday Sitdown” that, due to the movie’s schedule, he and Kidman weren’t able to really get to know each other outside their characters.
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“We didn’t have much time to rehearse or be together or gather together before shooting,” Bardem explained. “We didn’t even have time to meet as Nicole and Javier. We were, like, right on Lucy and Desi.”
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Kidman previously told People magazine that studying Lucille Ball became her “obsession” noting that she internalized everything into her “body and memory.”
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“It was my obsession to get it absolutely accurate,” she explained. “It was [writer/director Aaron Sorkin’s] obsession to have this human being portrayed – what’s behind the creation of Lucy Ricardo and who is the woman behind this character?”