The opportunities are endless when it comes to a strong support system. For Venus and Serena Williams, their ability to dream big began before they even made their debut into the world thanks to their father, Richard Williams.
After watching Romanian tennis player, Virginia Ruzici pocket $20,000 for winning the 1978 French Open, Richard was inspired to come up with a 78-page plan to turn his daughters Venus and Serena Williams into the biggest tennis stars. The film, King Richard, explores the Williams family’s journey to stardom, highlighting the importance of dreaming big, remaining true to oneself and knowing that even the impossible is possible when you have the support of your family to lean into.
Now that King Richard has made its way to theaters and streaming on HBO Max, let’s take a look at the cast and crew who stepped into the roles of big shoes to tell a must-see story of the legacy that has become Venus and Serena Williams.
Will Smith as Richard Williams
As previously reported by S&A, Will Smith was prepared to sit through hours of prosthetics to become Richard Williams in the film, however, director Reinaldo Marcus Green declined as he didn’t want people to get so caught up with the veteran actor’s appearance and lose sight of his performance.
A performance in which Smith embodied Williams from his walk to his dialect and the love he had for his children. In the role, Smith fully adapted to the no-bullshit attitude that Richard encompassed when it came to the way that the Williams’ sisters were portrayed to the world after achieving success at such a young age.
Aunjanue Ellis as Oracene Price
Ellis understood the assignment when she stepped into the role as Oracene Price, Venus and Serena’s mother who didn’t shy away from any sacrifice, big or small, to help fulfill her daughters’ dreams of becoming tennis stars.
While Smith may have seemingly stepped into one of the best performances of his career, Ellis met him every step of the way in bringing the full story of Oracene Price to the big screen for the world to see.
Saniyya Sidney as Venus Williams
From her role in Fences as the daughter of Denzel Washington and Viola Davis’ characters to her role as the daughter of Taraji P. Henson in Hidden Figures, Saniyya Sidney knows what it means to work alongside some of the greatest to ever do it, and now she portrays one of the best to ever to do it as Venus Williams in King Richard.
“When you grow up watching people that you’re inspired by, it means so much to even step into their shoes,” Sidney told S&A ahead of the film’s premiere.
Sidney has shown the world that she is here to stay through her performance as Venus Williams.
Demi Singleton as Serena Williams
Much like Sidney, Demi Singleton grew up watching the Williams’ sisters and was over the moon when she learned that she’d landed the role as Serena Williams in King Richard. In a brilliant performance, she executes the gentle, yet fierce spirit of the tennis champion well before she became known to the world as the GOAT.