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Sex. Celebrity. Politics. With Teeth

Nicole Kidman Almost Quit the Lucille Ball Movie Because Everyone Thought She Was Wrong For It

Her husband Keith Urban also said her Lucille Ball voice was 'terrifying.'

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Perhaps you’ve heard that Aaron Sorkin has made a Lucille Ball biopic starring Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem as the funny redhead and her husband, Desi Arnaz, respectively. Maybe when you heard this news, you were upset—so upset that you sent a bunch of tweets or yelled about it to anyone who would listen. Perhaps one of those people who heard you was Nicole Kidman.

At a screening for Being the Ricardos, Kidman told the crowd that after she accepted the role and then saw and heard the chatter about her casting, she emailed Sorkin to rescind her acceptance. “I actually sent [director] Aaron [Sorkin] an e-mail saying, ‘I think I’m actually the wrong person now. I know I said “yes,” but I’m now saying “no,”” Kidman said. “To which he said, ‘You don’t get to say “no” now!’ I’m really glad that he pushed me.”

Kidman is not known for being a comedic actor, though I’d argue that the high-drama histrionics of The Undoing and her accent in Nine Perfect Strangers were both hysterical in their own right. But Kidman is nothing if not smart (I think), and she underwent a rigorous comedy training schedule of her own devising, in order to fully inhabit the mind and the body of one of the greatest physical comedians of our time.

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“I started with the grape stomping,” Kidman said. “And that was my way into her, and I loved doing it. I loved doing the clown work and all of that.”

The “clown work” surely refers to the physical comedy portion of these proceedings, but also her voice, which her adoring husband Keith Urban said was not quite ideal.

“Vocally, I started with the Lucy voice, and it was so far out of reach that it was terrifying,” she said. “And I’d do it for my husband, who has a great ear, cause he’s a musician, and he’d be, like, ‘Hmmmm.’ Kinda scary.”

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It is a stretch to imagine Nicole Kidman doing Lucille Ball any justice, especially when Debra Messing, a woman who is probably weeping in her walk-in closet over not being cast for this role, was right there. But Nicole Kidman is Nicole Kidman, and so she gets the cookie for now. [New York Post]


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