Will Smith Says Venus and Serena Williams 'Cried All the Way Through' King Richard: 'They Loved It'
In King Richard, out Nov. 19, the Oscar nominee plays Richard Williams, the dad and childhood tennis coach of the famous athlete sisters. While appearing on The Tonight Show Tuesday, Smith recalled being nervous to find out what Venus, 41, and Serena, 40, thought of the final movie.
"Venus and Serena were really excited about the possibility. And they said that they would potentially be executive producers and they would walk us through the whole process, but they were going to withhold whether or not they put their names on the film until they saw it," said Smith.
"So then I get the call that Venus and Serena are walking into the theater to see the film," he continued. "It's the worst two hours ever. The worst two hours. Because you spent so much time creating these things, and there is literally only one audience when you do it. ... You hope that they like it."
Fortunately, the stars enjoyed the movie, Smith said: "Venus and Serena cried all the way through. They loved it."
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Earlier this month, Smith and the Williams sisters spoke with Entertainment Weekly about King Richard, praising the story, which follows the family's start in the sport and their rise to ground-breaking champions status. Venus and Serena are played by actresses Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton, respectively.
"When we heard that Will wanted to do it, it was like, 'Oh my God this movie is going to be the real deal.' Whatever film he's in, it's the real deal. We got the sense of this is gonna be big, this is gonna be a serious film," Venus said.
As for whether Richard, 79, has seen the film, Venus and Serena recently told EW they weren't sure whether he had viewed it yet. The outlet reported that COVID kept Richard away from the set and he did not participate in the interview due to health issues.
King Richard hits theaters and HBO Max Nov. 19.