Nicole Kidman is dusting off the prosthetics in Aaron Sorkin’s biopic, Being the Ricardos, about I Love Lucy stars Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. Javier Bardem joins Kidman in the duo and we explore if the Amazon Prime Video film is based on a true story.

With Sorkin on script duties as well, Being the Ricardos narrates the couple’s romantic relationship as well as their professional life working together on the popular 50’s show. The film spans one of the couple’s most hectic production weeks.

Being the Ricardos | Official Trailer | Amazon Prime

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Being the Ricardos | Official Trailer | Amazon Prime
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Is Being the Ricardos based on a true story?

Yes, Being the Ricardos is a biographical drama following real-life actor and producer, Lucille Ball and her husband, Desi Arnaz.

Alongside Ball’s show, she also had to deal with the accusations against her about being a communist during America’s Red Scare.

While the film is relatively loyal to Ball and Arnaz’s life, Sorkin did make some changes to aid the narrative better.

Ball’s testimony to the House Un-American Activities Committee, her second pregnancy, and an article written about Arnaz’s infidelity did not happen in real life within one week. These events spanned years.

Additionally, the scene where J. Edgar Hoover clears Ball’s name in front of a live audience also reportedly never happened. 

Are the interviews real?

No, the interviews throughout the biopic are performed by actors with dialogue written by Sorkin.

John Rubinstein, Linda Lavin, and Ronny Cox all play characters who were involved in the interview scenes.

Alongside the interviews not being real, Sorkin also shortened the amount of time between the notable events in Ball and Arnaz’s life, most likely for narrative pacing.

Where to watch

Being the Ricardos is an exclusive release on Amazon Prime Video and interested viewers can subscribe to the service or begin a free trial here.

The biopic received a short theatrical release in the US on December 10, before arriving on Amazon on December 21.

By Jo Craig – [email protected]

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