King Richard premiere: Interviews with Will Smith, Saniyya Sidney, Demi Singleton, Isha Price, Jon Bernthal, Zach Baylin and Jon Mone
King Richard, from director Reinaldo Marcus Green (Monsters and Men), tells the story behind the success of global tennis superstars, Serena and Venus Williams, from the perspective of their ambitious and tenacious father, Richard Williams, who had a plan in place for their worldwide domination before they were even born to humble beginnings in Compton.
With Will Smith in the titular role (giving arguably the performance of his career) and two astounding young actresses, Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton, stepping into the roles of Venus and Serena as they come of age into the tennis world, this is an emotionally absorbing, beautifully crafted and compelling telling of their barely believable story from a unique angle. While it doesn’t shy away from the struggles the family faced with abject poverty and racism (the girls bunked up with their many sisters in a single room, only able to practise on potholed, gang-surrounded courts), nor Richard’s flaws, it’s ultimately a film with a big heart and contagious sense of hope.
Having already inspired a generation, particularly women and young black women, through their achievements as athletes, the Williams sisters will no doubt be able to inspire yet another generation through this big-screen reimagining of their journey to get to the top.
The cast and crew made a special appearance at Wimbledon ahead of the film’s premiere to speak more about the film.
While at Wimbledon, Smith shared his thoughts on tennis, Serena and Venus Williams and the prospect of Richard’s approval of the film.
Saniyya Sidney spoke about playing Venus Williams and what it was like working with Smith and Demi Singleton.
Singleton then spoke about her experience of playing Serena Williams and the family bond the cast had on set.
Isha Price, Serena and Venus’s sisters, shared her memories of growing up, the sacrifices that were made and her reaction to the film’s first screening reaction.
Jon Bernthal spoke about his role as Serena and Venus Williams’ coach, Rick Macci.
Screenwriter Zach Baylin gave his insights on developing the script for the film.
Producer Jon Mone also shared his thoughts on working with the Williams family and Smith’s performance as Richard Williams.
Watch more footage of the cast on court one at Wimbledon below!
Catch the moment Will Smith, Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton meet junior players in Wimbledon during a training session:
And see the film’s stars arriving at the premiere here:
Plus hear the introduction to the film’s presentation:
King Richard is released nationwide 19th November on 2021. Read our review of the film here. Catch our interviews with some of the cast here and more chats with the cast and crew at the film’s press conference here.
Watch the trailer for King Richard here: