King Richard actresses reflect on experience of portraying Venus and Serena Williams

Actresses Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton reflected on their experience of portraying Venus and Serena Williams in the King Richard film. 

The film about the father of the Williams sisters, Richard Williams, was released last month. 

“I was hysterically crying,” Sidney told Elle UK, per Sportskeeda. “But I was so excited I just couldn’t wait to tell their story. I was in love with the script and I couldn’t wait to jump into my childhood hero’s shoes. I was ready.”

Singleton’s reaction was similar to Sidney’s  as she described Venus and Serena as their childhood heroes. 

“I definitely felt the same way. As Saniyya mentioned Serena and Venus [Williams], they’re both our childhood heroes and strong black women that we look up to,” Singleton said.

Sidney, Singleton did their research on the Williams sisters 

“Before we started filming, we did our own research,” Singleton continued. “We were looking on the internet for archival videos and photos of when they were little girls. For Serena Williams, specifically, there aren’t a whole lot of them out there, not as many as Venus, because Venus kind of stepped into the spotlight a bit before Serena did so it was a little bit difficult for me.”

Sidney and Singleton trained a lot for the movie. 

“We did a lot of tennis training. For me it was two to three hours a day, Monday through Friday. It was a month and a half before and after COVID. And learning how to play like two of the greatest athletes of all time is very difficult. But I think we were both up for the challenge because of what the story is,” Singleton said. 

Meanwhile, Serena announced her withdrawal from the Australian Open.

“While this is never an easy decision to make, I am not where I need to be physically to compete,” Williams told the Australian Open website. “Melbourne is one of my favorite cities to visit and I look forward to playing at the AO every year. I will miss seeing the fans, but am excited to return and compete at my highest level.”

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