Nicole Kidman’s fifth ever Oscar nomination came in Tuesday morning, this time for Aaron Sorkin’s Being the Ricardos, from Amazon Studios. As I Love Lucy star Lucille Ball, Kidman depicts the life of a creative comedic icon who led an unprecedented charge for women in the industry, essentially writing for, producing and as good as directing herself as she performed.
It’s been almost 20 years since she won for The Hours, and this time Kidman is up against category mates Penélope Cruz for Parallel Mothers, Olivia Colman for The Lost Daughter, Kristen Stewart for Spencer and Jessica Chastain for The Eyes of Tammy Faye.
Kidman’s Being the Ricardos co-star Javier Bardem also gained an Oscar nomination on Tuesday for his role as Ball’s husband and business partner Desi Arnaz.
Speaking to Deadline right after her nomination was announced, Kidman recalled how she related to Ball, “There were many things aligned with her, that I’ve experienced or felt,” she said.
She also told how during shooting, Sorkin wrote her a note encouraging her to become Lucy. “I’ve got the email he sent me. I remember re-reading it and re-reading it. It was I think three or four days into shooting and he’s such a beautiful writer. He just kept saying, ‘Make this your own. You’ve got everything else now and now it just has to be imbued with why I cast you.’”
As one half of production company Blossom Films with Per Saari, did Kidman connect to Ball’s wearing of many creative hats? “[It was] I know that feeling, I know that,” she said. “The passion and the desire to… Lucille was doing that in the decades that no one was doing that. I’ve seen footage of her on the set, going, ‘Put the camera here and do this and do that,’ and I don’t do that on a set, but the way in which she was like, ‘Let me do what I do,’ and it’s fascinating. Who would she have been using to lean on for that? I don’t know. And her ability to get back up and keep going… Lucille Ball has not been acknowledged in the sense of what she actually did in the industry. I was shocked.”
“What she was doing as a woman was just phenomenal, with her body, with her mind, with her ability to challenge with her ideas and keep constantly pushing for more. There’s an enormous amount of inspiration, and also to be learnt from her, still.”
Kidman’s Blossom Films is currently working on the upcoming television series Expats, with Farewell director Lulu Wang at the helm.
“We’ll be wrapping it really soon,” Kidman said of the show. “We’ve been on break for the holidays, but we’re almost done. I don’t think they’ve set a time for when it’s coming out.”
As with Ball, Kidman recognizes Wang’s creative drive and power. “That’s another woman in this industry who’s trailblazing her own path,” she said.
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