Nicole Kidman on Becoming Grace in ‘The Undoing’ and Preparing to Play Lucille Ball

Welcome to “Just for Variety“…

Nicole Kidman is in Australia spending time with her family, including husband Keith Urban, their two daughters and the Oscar winner’s 80-year-old mom, Janelle. The night before we talked, Kidman and the kids headed to Grandma’s to watch “Call of the Wild.” “She’s a good mama, and she makes me cry,” Kidman tells me. “It’s great to be able to be here. We’ve not been here for so long.”

Kidman’s past year has seen the enormous success of David E. Kelley and Susanne Bier’s “The Undoing.” Kidman plays Grace, an Upper East Side therapist whose life unravels when her husband (Hugh Grant) is accused of a gruesome murder. “I immediately felt a part of her or her a part of me,” Kidman says of Grace. “And I don’t know if that’s because David had kind of thought of me when he was writing it or how that works, the weird magic of our industry. But I felt her, so it was not a far reach.”

She’s now taking at least a couple months off work. She shot “The Northman,” Robert Eggers’ follow-up to “The Lighthouse,” during the pandemic as well as the Hulu limited series “Nine Perfect Strangers.” It was recently announced she’s playing Lucille Ball opposite Javier Bardem as Desi Arnaz in Aaron Sorkin’s “Being the Ricardos.” “I was like, ‘Yeah, I would love to give it a go,’” Kidman says. “With Aaron’s words and his direction and Javier … that’s kind of a wonderful prospect to, you know. But yikes, off we go. Give it a go. Try my best—see if I can do it.”

Kidman’s been watching a lot of “I Love Lucy.” “I love Lucille, having looked now and delved into her,” Kidman says. “She’s an amazing woman. I’m very excited for people to see what Aaron found out about her and the way he’s interpreted Desi and Lucy and the way that it’s so rich. I didn’t know any of this.”

Jay Roach’s planned film about the 1970 Kent State shootings will now be adapted as a limited television series. Über-producer Monica Levinson, fresh off “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” “Wander Darkly” and “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” exclusively tells me, “We realized it was just so dense. There’s so much there, and it’s so relevant now. ”Based on the Howard Means book “67 Shots: Kent State and the End of American Innocence,” the project was developed and will also be produced by Tina Fey and her husband, Jeff Richmond, a Kent State alum. “We’re hoping we get the chance to make it this year,” Levinson says.

While much has been discussed about Rudy Giuliani’s infamous New York City hotel room scene in “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” Levinson says that producers rushed the crew out of New York state that night because she was worried that law enforcement may try to “round up” them up. It was bad enough they couldn’t get access to the room to retrieve their equipment. “So at 11 o’clock at night, we’re like, ‘Go,’” she remembers. “We actually had to get new equipment to continue shoot the next day,” Asked if another “Borat” movie is in the works, Levinson says, “I hope not. Sacha [Baron Cohen] said something like, ‘Let’s do another,’ as a joke. I think he was joking. I said, ‘You’re absolutely insane.’ They’re so hard to make. They’re really, the hardest movies. People talk about ‘The Revenant,’ and I just think, ‘This is so hard.’”

Pierce Brosnan has teamed up with Los Angeles art gallery Seasons to sell 100 signed limited-edition silkscreens of Earplugs, the actor’s 1995 painting inspired by the ear plugs he wore while shooting action sequences for his first James Bond movie “GoldenEye.” He worked on the piece on set at Leavesdon Studios in the U.K. “My dressing room had once been part of the executive suites,” Brosnan tells me. “With large north facing windows, the room filled with winters light, it was the perfect art studio. “Prices range from $3,500-$5,000. A portion of the sales benefits A Sense of Home, which helps youths aging out of the foster system set up their first homes with donated furniture and other household goods. Next up for Brosnan is releasing ra limited edition series of his portrait of Bob Dylan which sold at auction to benefit amfAR. “I would also like to release a portrait I painted of Anthony Bourdain and a portrait of Picasso —all artists who have inspired me,” he says.

The Provincetown Film Society winter auction kicks off on Jan. 29. Bid on a voicemail recording by Kathleen Turner or dinner with director and producer Alan Poul. … GLAAD will announce the nominees for the 32nd annual Media Awards tomorrow during a TikTok livestream with Josie Totah, Shangela and Jonathan Bennett at 9 a.m. PT.

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