Nicole Kidman turned down Lucille Ball role

Written by By Katrina Blanton, CNN

In one of the most unexpected careers transformations, Australian actress Nicole Kidman almost didn’t play Lucille Ball for her upcoming movie adaptation of “Being the Ricardos,” due out in 2019.

The “Big Little Lies” star told CNN Style in September that “I thought that I’d never be up for this role,” confessing that she was so convinced that she would never get the part.

“I had just done the second season of ‘Big Little Lies’ and had lost my trainer (for fitness) completely…The thought that I’d have to start again or that I’d have to do another fitness program, I just couldn’t do it,” she said.

“So I sat down and had a cup of tea with her daughter and basically said, ‘I’m willing to do whatever you want, but I’m too old now to be out there dancing like I was 30 years ago.’

Kidman spoke with CNN Style about her experience as Lucille Ball in “Being the Ricardos.” Credit: Robyn Beck/AFP/AFP/Getty Images

Kidman met with Nancy Meyers, the legendary director who first cast her in “Something’s Gotta Give,” in order to convince her to take on the demanding role. Meyers told Kidman that she agreed to the movie because “there wasn’t any one person that I could think of,” she said.

Lucille Ball died of lung cancer at age 42 in 1989. She was starring in the sitcom “I Love Lucy” when she passed away.

“Being the Ricardos” tells the story of Ricky and Lucy’s first marriage in the mid-’50s. Kidman plays Lucy, while Timothy Hutton is Ricky.

Hutton’s audition in the role of Ricky is one of the scenes that provided the “emotional basis” for the film, he said.

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