Lucille Ball gives her daughter Lucie Arnaz love backstage.Michael Ochs Archives / Stringer/Getty Images
Aaron Sorkin said Lucille Ball’s daughter told him to “take the gloves off” when writing her mother.
“I know my mother wasn’t an easy woman,'” Sorkin recalled Lucie Arnaz telling him.Advertisement
Sorkin’s film, “Being the Ricardos,” highlights three events in Ball and husband Desi Arnaz’s life.
Aaron Sorkin has faced criticism from some “I Love Lucy” fans for casting Nicole Kidman as Lucille Ball given that Kidman doesn’t look much like the comedy legend. But Sorkin, who wrote and directed the film based on a fictionalized week in Ball’s life, recently told The Hollywood Reporter that the opinions he valued the most were those of Ball’s children.
According to Sorkin, having the explicit support of Ball’s daughter, Lucie Arnaz, was key in his decision to make the film. However, he said he wanted to make sure he had her approval to tell the whole story — the good, the bad, and the ugly.
“We all had lunch together, and she said to me, ‘I know my mother wasn’t an easy woman,'” Sorkin told THR. “‘Take the gloves off.’ In other words, you can go for it.”
Arnaz appears to be pleased with what Sorkin ultimately created. In October, she posted a video to Instagram calling the movie “friggen amazing,” though she’d previously revealed she had reservations about some things depicted in it.
Arnaz arrives at 27th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala.Steve Granitz/Getty Images
Sorkin told THR he understood Arnaz’s critique. “If anybody did a movie about my parents, no matter how great the writer or the director, no matter how great the actors, no matter how well they captured my parents, I can’t imagine liking the movie,” he said.
He also addressed Arnaz’s August comments directly, explaining that he took artistic liberties with the timeline of events that the film portrays, placing three incidents — Ball’s “Red Scare” (criticism that she was a communist), Desi’s cheating scandal that made the cover of Confidential magazine, and Ball’s pregnancy — in the same week, when they didn’t even happen in the same year.
The legacy of Ball’s legendary sitcom “I Love Lucy” remains largely untouched in “Being the Ricardos.” According to Sorkin, scenes from the show account for “less than three minutes” of the film, although it featured pretty prominently in the early teaser footage released for it.
“Being the Ricardos” premieres theatrically December 10 and is streaming on Amazon Prime starting December 21.
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