Nicole Kidman Suggests ‘Being The Ricardos’ Promoters Were ‘Scared’ To Put Her Face In The Trailer

Usually, the lead of the movie is the main attraction. But that wasn’t the case for “Being the Ricardos.”

Actress Nicole Kidman recently reflected on why she felt marketers “downplayed” her involvement in the project, which sought to explore the real lives of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz beyond their hit comedy “I Love Lucy.” The movie faced a lot of criticism over casting decisions, which was likely a factor in how the promotions were presented to the public.

 “I’m not on the internet, and I definitely don’t Google myself,” Kidman said of her experience. “But things trickle through.”

New York Times writer Dave Itzkoff said the movie “remains an occasional source of insecurity for her.” When her interviewer mentioned only seeing glimpses of her face in the 75-second movie trailer, he asked for her thoughts on that particular marketing decision.

“I don’t know how to answer that, you know? I don’t handle the promotional part of it. Maybe they were just scared of showing me….Bummer.”

Casting on “Being the Ricardos” was fraught with tension all along. First, Kidman replaced Cate Blanchett after the star dropped out voluntarily, which she claims inspired no hard feelings from either party. “I feel like there’s a sacred pact among [actors and actresses] — whoever gets something, that’s where it was meant to land,” Kidman explained.

Meanwhile, Debra Messing openly vied to play Lucille Ball and seemed to inspire a lot of fan support. The “I Love Lucy” fans were not shy about making their opinions known.

Kidman and Javier Bardem, who played Arnaz, experienced so much vitriol that they considered quitting the movie entirely. 

“I wasn’t aware of how big it was,” Bardem said during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “When I really started digging into him, the deeper I got, the more I knew how iconic [the show] was … it was like, ‘Sh**.’” 

Kidman said she had the same exact reaction. “Sh**, what did we do?” the actress recalled thinking. “I got frightened.”

While Kidman got slammed for not looking enough like Ball, Bardem was criticized for being a different nationality than Arnaz. The real Desi was Cuban while Bardem is Spanish.

Producer Todd Black was able to convince reps for both actors to keep their clients in the movie. But he did try to persuade director Aaron Sorkin to delay the project for one year. When that didn’t work, the controversial film forged forward even with criticism.

“Being the Ricardos” has decent but not great reviews and is rated 70% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with a 74% audience score. One reviewer said, “Being the Ricardos is an enjoyably safe biopic that doesn’t gloss over the troubled marriage and the struggles of being a woman in 1950s Hollywood, yet it never really lets you know how influential Ball was.”

Salon said Kidman gave a “commendable” performance as Ball while Bardem is “strong” in his role as Arnaz. The movie was released December 10 in select theaters and became available via streaming on December 21.

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