Being the Ricardos shows fans a side of Lucille Ball that’s a far cry from the character she portrayed in her iconic sitcom I Love Lucy.
For the upcoming Amazon film, writer/director Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing) said he received permission from Ball’s daughter, Lucie Arnaz, to “take the gloves off” in the process of portraying her mother.
“We all had lunch together, and she said to me, ‘I know my mother wasn’t an easy woman,'” Sorkin told The Hollywood Reporter. “‘Take the gloves off.’ In other words, you can go for it.”
Throughout Being the Ricardos, the couple clashes behind the scenes of their famous television show I Love Lucy as they deal with a range of issues from cultural taboos, political smear and surprising personal accusations. The famous couple was married in 1940 and later split in 1960.
Both Kidman and Bardem’s casting was criticized by some fans, with some taking issue with Bardem, who is Spanish, playing Arnaz, since he was Cuban-American.
However, Sorkin has said that casting Kidman and Bardem as the I Love Lucy stars was more about Ball and Arnaz as actors rather than their characters on the sitcom.
“I think that the people thought that we’ve cast them as Lucy and Ricky Ricardo,” Sorkin told Entertainment Tonight in February. “The film takes place during a production week of I Love Lucy – a Monday table read to Friday audience taping, with a whole bunch of long flashbacks which are telling the story that got us here – and because there’s a table read, there’s rehearsals and then there’s tape night, we do see moments of them being Lucy and Ricky Ricardo.”
Being the Ricardos premieres in theaters Dec. 10 and on Amazon Prime Video Dec. 21.