At the end of this recent post: Hmm, Not Sure About Nicole Kidman Playing Lucille Ball in Aaron Sorkin Penned Biopic, I wondered what Lucy’s family thought about Nicole Kidman possibly portraying the star of I Love Lucy?
Turns out there has already been an answer to this question involving a different actress: Debra Messing.
Lucy Arnaz, Lucy’s daughter saw Messing in makeup on the tribute episode of “Will & Grace” and here’s what happened.
In the same Variety interview, Messing recalled that Ball’s daughter, Lucie Arnaz, gave her a stamp of approval behind the scenes of the special “I Love Lucy” tribute episode of “Will & Grace.” “I was in the green dress. We were about to shoot the song and dance [number] and she walked in and she just looked at me and didn’t say anything.” Messing recalled. “Then she hugged me and she said, ‘This feels really good. It’s been a long time since I’ve hugged you,’ and everyone started to cry.”Nicole Kidman Cast As Lucille Ball And Now Debra Messing Would Like A Word | HuffPost
Here’s a clip of Messing playing a famous I Love Lucy reenactment:
Now compare this to the real Lucy:
Messing really doesn’t have the voice, but she does very good with Lucy’s facial expressions. Sure, the look is there, but without the voice, that semi-whiny gritty Lucy voice it just doesn’t have the flavor. Lucille Ball’s voice is vital to her comedy. It’s not just the facial expressions, although those, again, are covered well by Messing.
Wish we could see Nicole Kidman doing the same scene for comparison purposes. Maybe we’ll get to when/if she officially signs up for the part. Based on what I watched here, I’m not on board for Messing either. No disrespect intended, you can look like Lucy, but you have to sound like her, too. Messing just doesn’t in my opinion.