Nicole Kidman

Being The Ricardos: Nicole Kidman is unrecognisable as Lucille Ball in the trailer for her new Amazon Prime movie

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The new trailer for Nicole Kidman’s upcoming film Being The Ricardos has just been released, and it’s one of her most dramatic transformations to date.

When it comes to a character transformation, few actors can match up against the great Nicole Kidman.  From her turn as novelist Virginia Woolf in The Hours and undercover detective Erin Bell in Destroyer, to her role as adoptive mother Sue Brierly in Lion, the actor has never been shy about getting into character throughout her adventurous career.

In recent years, Kidman’s had a lot of fun taking on look-twice roles on the small screen too: take her role as overprotective mother Julia Edwards in Top Of The Lake: China Girl, or wellness guru Masha in Amazon Prime’s Nine Perfect Strangers.

Now, Kidman is undergoing another stunning metamorphosis in her upcoming Amazon Prime film Being The Ricardos. Here’s everything you need to know about the film, including the plot, cast, trailer and release date. 

What’s the plot of Being The Ricardos?

Written and directed by Oscar winner Aaron Sorkin, Being The Ricardos chronicles the marital troubles of the famous real-life couple Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.

According to Deadline, the film is set against the backdrop of the production of their classic 1950s TV sitcom I Love Lucy, which centred on the marriage of Lucille and Ricky Ricardo, and explores a turbulent time in both their personal and professional relationship.

“The film is set during one production week of I Love Lucy — Monday table read through Friday audience filming— when Lucy and Desi face a crisis that could end their careers and another that could end their marriage.”

The upcoming feature also alludes to Ball’s investigation by the FBI. In 1953, Ball admitted in sealed testimony to the House Un-American Activities Committee that she had previously registered as a member of the Communist Party in 1936 at her socialist grandfather’s insistence.

Who stars in the cast of Being The Ricardos?

The iconic entertainers are played by two equally starry names, with Nicole Kidman leading as Lucille Ball, alongside fellow Oscar-winning actor Javier Bardem as Desi Arnaz.

Speaking at a screening of Being the Ricardos this month, Kidman said she was initially scared about taking on the role of the sitcom icon.

 “I had massive trepidation about a month prior, and Aaron had to get on the phone and send me emails saying, ‘You’ve got this,’” she told Variety. “It was frightening but incredibly exciting.”

The cast also features many other familiar faces, including JK Simmons (Whiplash) as William Frawley, who played Lucy and Desi’s neighbour Fred Mertz on the iconic sitcom, and Nina Arianda (Goliath) as Vivian Vance, who played Fred’s wife and Lucy’s best friend, Ethel Mertz.

Meanwhile, Tony Hale (Veep) plays I Love Lucy executive producer and head writer Jess Oppenheimer, along with Alia Shawkat (Search Party) and Jake Lacy (The White Lotus) as the show’s writing partners, Madelyn Pugh and Bob Carroll Jr.

Joining the ensemble are Clark Gregg, John Rubinstein, Linda Lavin, Robert Pine, and Christopher Denham.

What are the critics saying about Being The Ricardos?

Following the first screening of Being The Ricardos, early reviews of the film have been overwhelmingly positive, with plenty of critics suggesting that Kidman will snag her fifth Best Actress Oscar nomination for her performance.

“Kidman embodies the essence of Lucille Ball, especially in her mannerisms during the rehearsals and filming of episodes,” tweeted Variety editor Clayton Davis. “She very well may break your heart, demanding the viewer’s sympathy and a best actress nomination may seem almost certainly in the cards for her.”

“‘Being The Ricardos’ left me in a puddle of tears,” wrote Collider’s Perri Nemiroff. “What a beautiful and deeply moving behind-the-scenes look at the pressures and complexities involved in making that show – highs, lows and everything in between. Nicole Kidman is INCREDIBLE.”

Is there a trailer for Being The Ricardos?

Having previously released a teaser giving a brief glimpse of Kidman and Bardem as the entertainers, Amazon Prime has now released the first full-length trailer for Being The Ricardos.

It shows Bardem as Arnaz delivering his signature line, “Lucyyy, I’m ho-ooome!”, as well as telling Ball “If they boo you, we’re done.”

In one dramatic clip, we also see the FBI arriving to interview Ball after the newspapers brand her a communist threat. Kidman also embodies her character as she deadpans: “I’m Lucille Ball. When I’m being funny, you’ll know it.”

What is the release date for Being The Ricardos?

Being the Ricardos will become available to stream on Amazon Prime Video on 21 December.

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Christobel Hastings

Christobel Hastings is Stylist's Entertainment Editor whose specialist interests include pop culture, LGBTQ+ identity and lore.