Amazon Studios kicked off principal photography on writer / director Aaron Sorkin’s drama Being the ricardos this week in Los Angeles. Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem play the real-life couple Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, the stars behind the groundbreaking and classic 1950s TV sitcom I Love Lucy, which focused on a happily married yet seemingly unmatched couple: an accident prone redhead. American housewife and her sensitive husband, the leader of the Cuban-American gang, which became the highest rated and most beloved show of the day.
The film is set during a week of I Love Lucy production – Monday’s table reading to Friday’s audience filming – when Lucy and Desi face a crisis that could end their careers and another that could end their marriage.
“Being the Ricardos is a drama about the people behind making the most famous comedy on television. I’m looking forward to working with Nicole, Javier, JK, Nina and the rest of our great cast,” says writer / director Aaron Sorkin .
Oscar winner Nicole Kidman (The Undoing) is the eponymous red-haired star of I Love Lucy, Lucille Ball, and fellow Oscar winner Javier Bardem (Before Night Falls, No Country for Old Men) is her husband, Desi Arnaz, the Cuban-American actor, musician and president of his television production company, Desilu Productions. In I Love Lucy, Ball and Arnaz played America’s most famous television couple, Lucy and Ricky Ricardo. But in real life, their relationship was infamously more complex and tumultuous than the hilarious fictional characters they portray.
Executive Producer Lucie Arnaz says: “My brother Desi and I signed because this is a story of the passionate, stormy and complicated relationship of our people in real life and not a recreation of I Love Lucy, no one could do that. We feel like we were exploring that. The relationship could be an enlightening challenge. We asked Amazon for the best and got it with every hire. Aaron Sorkin has not told this story as a “cradle to grave” biopic. Instead, he has chosen to enlighten a slice of time during an incredibly intense period of your show’s enduring success. All of the casting choices have been inspired and Desi and I can’t wait to see what this impressive group of actors does with Sorkin’s delightful script. “
The film co-stars Oscar winner JK Simmons (Whiplash, Palm Springs) and Nina Arianda (Stan & Ollie, Florence Foster Jenkins) as Lucy and Desi, co-starring I Love Lucy, William Frawley and Vivian Vance. Frawley played Ricardo’s neighbor Fred Mertz in the iconic sitcom and Vance was Fred’s wife and Lucy’s best friend, Ethel Mertz.
Two-time Emmy winner Tony Hale (Veep, Arrested Development) joins the ensemble in co-starring roles as Jess Oppenheimer, executive producer and lead writer of I Love Lucy, along with Alia Shawkat (Search Party, Arrested Development) and Jake Lacy ( Fosse). / Verdon, The Office) as the show’s former writing partners Madelyn Pugh and Bob Carroll Jr.
The cast is completed by Clark Gregg (Agents of SHIELD), Nelson Franklin (Veep), John Rubinstein (Family), Linda Lavin (Alice, The Good Wife), Robert Pine (CHiPs) and Christopher Denham (Billions).
Academy Award winner and Golden Globe winner Aaron Sorkin (Chicago Trial of 7, The Social Network) wrote the original screenplay and is also directing. This marks Sorkin’s third film as a director after Molly’s Game and The Trial of the Chicago 7.
Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal and Steve Tisch of Escape Artists are producing, and executive producers are Jenna Block, David Bloomfield of Escape Artists, Stuart Besser, Lucie Arnaz, Desi Arnaz, Jr. and Lauren Lohman.
Sorkin’s behind-the-scenes team includes Oscar-nominated cinematographer Jeff Cronenweth, ASC (The Social Network, Gone Girl), production designer Jon Hutman (Unbroken, It’s Complicated), costume designer Susan Lyall (The Trial of the Chicago 7, Molly’s Game), set decorator Ellen Brill (Bombshell, American Horror Story), three-time Oscar®-nominated sound mixer Steven Morrow (Ford v Ferrari, A Star is Born, La La Land), and two-time Oscar-nominated editor Alan Baumgarten (The Trial of Chicago 7, American Hustle).
Topics: I love Lucy