Lucille Ball’s daughter was “devastated” when Cate Blanchett stepped down from the lead role on “Being the Ricardos”

Being the Ricardos, the Amazon Prime movie directed by Aaron Sorkin and starring Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem, caused a sensation among fans of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. Many were eager to see who would represent the celebrity couple and their portrayal in the movie. Another point of concern? The amount of involvement of their daughter, Lucie Arnaz.

Sorkin took a creative license to create drama. But one aspect of the project that disappointed Lucie Arnaz very early on concerned the casting. Initially ready to play Ball, Cate Blanchett withdrew from the project even before it began.

Cate Blanchett as Lucille Ball

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Sorkin began developing the biopic Ball in 2015. Several actors competed for the role at the start of the project. The name that kept coming up was Blanchett, a star with an extensive acting career, including titles like Blue jasmine, Carole, and The Lord of the Rings.

Blanchett’s name stuck with the Sorkin project until 2017. But because it took so long to take off – and because it was originally billed as a TV miniseries instead of a movie – Blanchett left before he started working on other projects.

Ball’s daughter was not happy with Blanchett’s potential replacements

(LR) Daughter of Lucille Ball Lucie Arnaz and actor Cate Blanchett on October 4, 2015 in New York City. | Bruce Glikas / FilmMagic

Once Blanchett left the race to play Ball, Sorkin had to find a new actor to play the comedy icon. Lucille Ball’s daughter remained involved in conversations regarding Blanchett’s replacement. But she was not happy with the list of candidates that followed. “It was always like, ‘What’s the flavor of the month? Who has the hot movie of the minute? ‘ », Said Arnaz The New York Times. Lots of suggestions just didn’t bring the right attributes to the character.

One of the fan favorites discussed? Debra Messing, who played Ball’s most famous character, Lucy Ricardo in a 2020 episode of The Will & Grace to restart. However, Sorkin did not want Messing. Being the Ricardos only features about three minutes of Ball playing his famous TV character. Instead, the film focuses on Ball’s personal life and how it paved the way for upcoming actresses and comedians.

Kidman was chosen because of her understanding of divorce and drug addiction

Kidman, best known for her work on Big little lies, Nine Perfect Strangers, and red Mill, became a candidate for the role. As soon as she expressed a desire to play Ball on screen, Arnaz became interested in what Kidman might bring to the table. Arnaz saw the similarities between Ball’s personal life and Kidman’s, noting that the actor “had been married before – she understood divorce and was trying to raise your children in the spotlight.” Arnaz also pointed out that Kidman was dealing with an addictive husband, much like his own father.

Once Kidman started to prepare for the role, she enjoyed Ball’s intricacies much more. She saw how, while the comedy legend had dreams and ambitions she couldn’t grasp, she still managed to find her own path through comedy.

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