Lucy and Desi might be getting some award-winning neighbors soon, as Oscar winner J.K. Simmons and Tony winner Nina Ariande are in negotiations to join Aaron Sorkin’s upcoming film about Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.
The movie, titled Being the Ricardos, made headlines last month when word dropped that Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem were in talks to star as Ball and Arnaz in Sorkin’s drama, which takes place over one tumultuous week on the set of the iconic television program I Love Lucy.
The Hollywood Reporter now has word that Simmons and Ariande are looking at signing on to play actors William Frawley and Vivian Vance, respectively. Frawley and Vance played neighbors Fred and Ethel Mertz on the program.
Simmons is, of course, an Oscar winner for his role in the film Whiplash, and known for a litany of other parts in film and television, ranging from Oz to the Spider-Man films to last year’s Palm Springs. He’s one of the most reliable actors in the business, seemingly incapable of giving a bad performance.
Ariande won the Tony for Best Actress in a Play in 2012 for her work in Venus in Fur. A renowned stage actress, she’s likely best known to audiences who don’t follow theater for her work in the television shows Goliath and Billions, as well as films like Florence Foster Jenkins, and most recently, Richard Jewell.
These are two actors of the caliber you would expect to board a Sorkin project, especially when he’s riding a wave of success from the accolades continuing to greet his current awards favorite, The Trial of the Chicago 7. Seeing Sorkin and Ariande rip into Sorkin’s dialogue would be a treat for all.