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Javier Bardem on ‘Being the Ricardos,’ his mother, and his dream roles

Javier Bardem attends the after party for the premiere of Amazon Studios' "Being The Ricardos" at Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles, California.
Javier Bardem attends the after party for the premiere of Amazon Studios' "Being The Ricardos" at Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles, California.

Javier Bardem has wanted to play the role of Desi Arnaz for years. Arnez was welcomed into tens of millions of American households in the 1950s as Ricky Ricardo on the hit television show “I Love Lucy.”

“He was a musician, he was a great actor, and a comedy genius,” Bardem told 1A. “And also the relationship he had with Lucy [Lucille Ball], which I think was very heartbreaking but also really beautiful to look at because they really adore each other.”

Bardem received a call from director Aaron Sorkin in January of 2021 asking him to play the role. Two months later, he began shooting with co-star Nicole Kidman.

“Both she and I were praying to the spirts. Every night she would talk to Lucy and I would talk to Desi,” explained Bardem. “Looking at the sky and saying, ‘Help us. We need your guidance.’ We both kind of felt if we were doing those roles, in a way, it’s because they’ve chosen us.”

“Being the Ricardos” follows one week in the production of the show. The film takes place in1953 and follows the story of a journalist uncovering Lucille Ball affiliation with the Communist Partydecades earlier.

The film has been nominated for 3 Golden Globes and is available on Amazon Prime.

Bardem also stars in the new Spanish film “The Good Boss”, which has been nominated for a record 20 Goya awards. It will open the Miami Film Festival March 4th.

We spoke with Bardem about “Being the Ricardos,” how his acting career intersected with his mother’s, and the roles he dreams of playing.

Copyright 2022 WAMU 88.5

Chris Remington