The race for Best Actress is officially on, as we just got our first peek at Nicole Kidman as Lucille Ball in Aaron Sorkin’s Being the Ricardos. Set over the course of filming one episode of the classic sitcom I Love Lucy in 1952, the film also stars Javier Bardem as Ball’s on- and off-screen husband, Desi Arnaz.
In the brief teaser trailer, Kidman is more heard than seen, but we do get a glimpse of the fiery red hair (a wig, we gotta assume) she’s sporting to play Lucy. Though the show is, of course, one of the most beloved comedies of the last century, the film is a drama, exploring McCarthyism, marriage, and the difficulties of show business.
“The only thing better than a story people don’t know is a story that people think they know but they’re wrong,” writer-director Aaron Sorkin told Entertainment Weekly. He added that while the structure of the story necessitated a little fudging of the timeline, it’s ultimately a true story, explaining, “Everything that happens in the movie happened, it just didn’t all happen in one week. I made it happen in one week.”
But don’t expect pitch-perfect impressions. “I made it clear to everyone, but particularly Nicole and Javier, that I didn’t need them to do a physical impersonation of Lucy and Desi. When Lucy and Desi had to play Lucy and Ricky, I needed some kind of nod toward those characters that are very familiar to us, but makeup or prosthetics, we weren’t going to do any of that. I didn’t want it to be how good an impersonation they were doing,” said Sorkin.
Lucie Arnaz, the couple’s daughter, had input on the casting and script, according to EW. She’s seen the finished product, too, calling it “very emotional.” She told the outlet, “There are some moments that were harder for me to experience than they likely will be for the general public…But those moments were handled with such compassion that it wasn’t as depressing as it could have been.”
Watch Nicole Kidman in the trailer, here:
Being the Ricardos hits theaters on December 10, and Amazon Prime on December 21.