Arts & Entertainment

Bardem: ‘Being the Ricardos’ role was ‘Mt Everest to climb’

By Helen Cook

New York City, US, Dec 2 (EFE).- “A Mount Everest to climb” is how Javier Bardem described his role in “Being the Ricardos” on Thursday, starring alongside Nicole Kidman to tell the story of Hollywood power couple Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball.

“When (the role) arrived, it arrived a month and a half in advance for me to prepare,” Bardem told Efe on the red carpet at Jazz at Lincoln Center, in the heart of Manhattan, New York, minutes before the film’s premiere.

“The challenge was precisely to relax, to go phrase by phrase, video to video, audio to audio (…) To gain, a little more every day, security of what this character could do,” said the Spaniard, who added that for years he had wanted to get into the shoes of Cuban-American actor Arnaz.

For Bardem, Arnaz was a character “larger than life.”

The couple were the stars of one the United States’ best-known comedies, “I Love Lucy,” which in the 1950s was faithfully followed by millions of viewers.

Hollywood veteran Kidman told reporters that Ball was “very complicated.”

“Her marriage with Desi, as much as it didn’t work out, I love that you see what came out of it,” she said. “Because, okay, not all relationships are going to make it. But when a relationship like this gives you the jewels – the children – and then also the show, the creativity that came out of that… and I think you feel that.”

“She was a beautiful dancer, which I don’t think a lot of people know. But when you watch her you feel good, and being in her body like that made me feel good,” added the Australian, perhaps referencing criticism about being chosen to play Ball.

In January there was backlash to the announcement of the cast for the Aaron Sorkin film.

The choice for female lead was not well received, because unlike Kidman, Ball was a very expressive actress and used physical comedy, and because another actress, Debra Messing, had already portrayed Ball on previous occasions and had been highly applauded.

The reception to Spanish actor Bardem as male lead was also critical, mostly due to people arguing that there were many actors from Latin America to choose from to play the Cuban-American.

Sorkin told Efe he dealt with the barrage of online criticism “by ignoring it, because I had the benefit of knowing what the movie was about.”

“It is not uncommon for people who haven’t seen a movie to have a strong opinion about it. I am confident I cast the two best actors for the part, and people who come see the movie will feel that way too,” said the director.

The first reviews look to agree with him, and there is talk of the possibility that both Bardem and Kidman could be up for Oscars, although the Spaniard said these rumors are “noise” he prefers to ignore.

“All I want is to celebrate the pride, and especially the gratitude, of getting to be a part of a movie like this, a great movie. The rest is just noise that does not concern me and it’s not worthy of me,” Bardem said. EFE


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