*You can’t tell the story of Richard Williams without showcasing his daughter’s Venus and Serena’s iconic journey to the top of the tennis world.
With Will Smith taking on the lead role of Richard and Aunjanue Ellis as Oracene Williams in the new Warner Bros. film, “King Richard,” the parts for the sisters had to be filled out with two equally dynamic stars – Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton!
The two sat down to talk with EUR correspondent Jill Munroe about how their own close-knit families prepared them for these roles.
Munroe: How much tennis experience did you have before getting involved with the film?
Sidney: We didn’t know anything; the first time I played in front of a lot of people was at the chemistry read.
Singleton: We barely played at all. Then, for our chemistry read at the audition, we found out they wanted us to actually play tennis. That was our last audition, so I took three tennis lessons. Three one-hour tennis lessons and that was it. That was all the tennis I had played in my life before I booked the role and started training.
Munroe: How did your relationships with your family help get you ready to play Venus and Serena?
Sidney: My whole family is big into sports. Track, football, you name it! My brother is a big-time football player. I talked to my parents about this role, and they helped me through this process. It’s so important to have a sound support system, and that’s what my family is for me. I definitely drew from how I felt about my family for emotions with Aunjanue, Will and Demi, and all my sisters in the film. We ended up creating our own bond and becoming a family in real life.
Singleton: I love my “King Richard” family. They’re people I will always look up to. My real-life family has always been supportive of what I do – they’ve always been there to help me balance my work life and everyday life. Because I’m still a kid, and in some ways, I want to experience a normal kid life.
“King Richard” will be available in theatres and on HBO Max November 19.