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Actress Demi Singleton says she "freaked out" and "cried" the day she met Serena Williams on set of 'King Richard'

Serena Williams at the 2021 French Open
Serena Williams at the 2021 French Open
Gauri Awasthi

Actress Demi Singleton recently spoke to Will Smith and the Interview Magazine about her experience portraying Serena Williams in the film 'King Richard'. The biopic of Venus and Serena Williams' father was released on November 19 and received rave reviews from sections of the tennis community.

When asked if she was more nervous meeting Will Smith or Serena Williams, Singleton revealed that she was "freaking out" when she came across the tennis icon. The actress added that she was overwhelmed and broke down in tears.

"I was freaking out the day I met Serena," Demi Singleton said. "As soon as she walked away, I ran in the room and cried. It was a lot. No, I was definitely more nervous meeting Serena, but her and Venus both, they’re like family now."

Singleton was then asked if her perception of the 23-time Major champion had changed since playing her character on-screen.

Singleton replied that she had initially only known Serena Williams as an accomplished tennis player, who, over the years, paved the path for young black girls. However, after meeting the 23-time Slam champion and learning about her life beyond the tennis court, the 14-year-old could see another aspect of Williams' personality.

"I do see Serena in a different way," Singleton continued. "Maybe a year or two ago before this whole thing, I saw her as the amazing tennis champion who has opened so many doors for young Black girls, but now that I know her and I’ve seen her with her family, she’s still the youngest sister. I see that side of her."

"She’s pretty big now career-wise and she’s still babied by her family"- Demi Singleton on Serena Williams

Serena and Venus Williams with mother Oracene in 1999
Serena and Venus Williams with mother Oracene in 1999

During the interview, Demi Singleton proceeded to explain that although Serena Williams has an extraordinary career under her belt, she is still considered her family's "baby."

The actress also recalled an incident during 'King Richard's' premiere in which Isha Price, the elder sister of Serena and Venus Williams, didn't leave the after-party until Serena did.

Price had apparently stated that it was her responsibility as an older sister to look after Serena "all the time".

"She’s pretty big now career-wise, but in a way she’s still like everyone’s little baby, and she’s still babied by her family. Even at the after party, Ms. Isha [Price, Serena Williams’ sister] was like, “I can’t go until Serena goes, because she’s my little sister, and it’s my job to look after her all the time," the actress said.

Also Check Out: Updated Tennis Schedule 2022


Edited by Arvind Sriram

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