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Lucie Arnaz defends casting of Nicole Kidman as her mom, Lucille Ball

Lucie Arnaz is executive producing Amazon's movie about

Lucie Arnaz is executive producing Amazon's movie about her parents, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. Credit: Araya Doheny

Actress Lucie Arnaz, an executive producer of Aaron Sorkin's upcoming film drama about her parents, "I Love Lucy" stars Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, is asking fans not to quibble over the casting of Nicole Kidman as her mother.

In a Facebook video addressing those "who have been so enthusiastically commenting on the choice of casting," veteran theater star Arnaz, 69, said of Academy Award winners Kidman and Javier Bardem, set to play her father, that the casting was "a done deal" even though "the contracts aren't actually signed." Seeking to "try to calm the waters here," Arnaz said, "There seems to be a lot of discussion about Nicole Kidman, [that] it should be Debra Messing, it should be Carole Cook," a protégée of Ball's now in her 90s and still appearing on-screen.

"Here's the deal, what you should understand," Arnaz continued. "We are not doing a remake of 'I Love Lucy.' No one has to impersonate [the character] Lucy Ricardo nor do the Vitameatavegamin routine or the chocolate-factory routine or any of the silly things. It's the story of Lucille Ball, my actual mother, not Lucy Ricardo, and her husband, Desi Arnaz, my dad, not Ricky Ricardo."

Arnaz assured that the Sorkin written-and-directed "Being the Ricardos" is "going to have 'I Love Lucy' in it." While set during the weeklong production of an episode of the 1951-57 sitcom classic about bandleader Ricky Ricardo and his wacky wife, Lucy, the film focuses on the personal and professional lives of her parents. "It is a story of the two of them and how they met, and … their relationship, their love affair," Arnaz said.

She hoped fans would "stop arguing about who should play it: 'She doesn't look like her, her nose isn’t the same, she isn't as funny.' … Just trust us. It's going to be a nice film."

A start date for production of the Amazon Studios project is uncertain due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I Love Lucy," which won two Emmy Awards for best comedy series, was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1991, the only program in a list otherwise reserved for individual performers, producers and executives. Ball, Arnaz and co-stars William Frawley and Vivian Vance separately were inducted.

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