Lucille Ball’s Daughter Tells Mom’s Biopic Director: ‘Take the Gloves Off’

“We all had lunch together, and she said to me, ‘I know my mother wasn’t an easy woman,” says Aaron Sorkin
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Lucille Ball was a 20th Century icon and arguably America’s first true TV star, so how did more than 30 years pass between her death and someone finally making a proper movie about her?

“That’s probably better asked to Lucie Arnaz,” Being the Ricardos writer-director Aaron Sorkin responds in the latest issue of The Hollywood Reporter referring to Ball’s 70-year-old daughter, actress Lucie Arnaz.

Whatever those decades-long snags, Arnaz had apparently gotten over them before Sorkin signed on. He says he hemmed and hawed about joining the project for a year and a half before Arnaz finally pulled him in, saying she “was very helpful in getting me to a yes.”

The industry royal turned out to be less defensive of her mom–played by Oscar winning actress Nicole Kidman–than Sorkin might have feared, and that helped to sell him on the pic.

“We all had lunch together, and she said to me, ‘I know my mother wasn’t an easy woman. Take the gloves off,’” Sorkin recalls. “In other words, you can go for it. And without that…”

Having now seen the movie—which depicts a week of filming the landmark sitcom I Love Lucy with husband and co-star Desi Arnaz (Javier Bardmen), peppered with flashbacks from their complicated, boozy relationship—Arnaz is more than pleasantly surprised.

“It’s frickin’ amazing!” she weighed in on Instagram. “Sorkin captured an essence of that time in my parents’ lives so well. He captured the heart of my mother, my father, their relationship.”

As for Kidman, who’s taken heat from people who say the 5’11” actress looks nothing like the 5’7” fiery redhead, Arnaz added, “She became my mother’s soul. She crawled into her head. She cared very deeply about this part, and it shows.”

Just a few months back, however, Arnaz wasn’t quite as happy.

After a visit to the set in August, she told Palm Springs Life“I mean, there are certain scenes that I wished hadn’t been in the feature film. I couldn’t get my way and have them taken out, but they weren’t accurate.”

She continued, “I thought, ‘That shouldn’t be in there, because that never happened. That’s not true.’ And it’s not just theatrical license, it just wasn’t true.”

Regarding Sorkin, Arnaz said the Social Network Oscar-winner added scenes “that didn’t happen altogether the way Aaron has written it… He’s taking some theatrical license and sort of cramming a couple of true events that did happen, they just didn’t happen at the same time.”

It’s unclear if those scenes made the final cut, but even back then Arnaz still had praise for the work-in-progress, saying Sorkin “treated my mother and my father really well” and that his Kidman “did a fantastic job… boy, what she did was astounding. She’s got such poise and class.”


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