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"Serena's somebody I've loved my entire life but I was also nervous finding out that I was playing a living legend"- Demi Singleton on playing Williams in King Richard

Serena Williams at the 2017 Australian Open
Serena Williams at the 2017 Australian Open
Gauri Awasthi
ANALYST

Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton, the actresses from the upcoming film King Richard, recently appeared on Tamron Hall's talk show. The teenagers play young Venus and Serena Williams in King Richard. The film traces the sisters' childhood and their father's role in their rise to greatness.

Host Tamron Hall asked Demi Singleton how she reacted when she was selected to play Serena Williams in the film. Singleton revealed that the audition process was lengthy and she was excited when she came to know that she had landed the part. She further expressed her long-time admiration for the tennis great, before admitting she was nervous at first.

"Our audition process was so so long, so when I found out I felt relieved because I worked so hard and I was excited and happy," Demi Singleton said. "Serena's somebody that I've loved my entire life but I was also a little nervous finding out that I was playing a living legend.
"You know when you take somebody's story, that's not something you work with lightly. So I was constantly telling myself remember: 'remember this is not your story this is theirs".
Prepare to be served. Based on the inspiring true story of Venus and Serena Williams, #KingRichard arrives in one week. https://t.co/H0hw3aTiP2

The 14-year-old also described how she and Saniyya Sidney went through vigorous tennis training before filming. She explained that the Williams sisters have such unique playing styles that it became important for them to pay attention to detail while learning their respective techniques.

"It was some pretty intense tennis training," Demi Singleton continued,"but it was really important for both of us that we got it right. Serena and Venus, their playing style is so unique they don't play like most tennis players out there. So it was very important for us to get every single detail down - from the grunts they do and a snap of their wrist."

"We see them now as tennis legends, but this movie lets you inside their life when they were eight or nine"-- Saniyya Sidney

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Saniyya Sidney went on to share how she and Demi Singleton embraced their respective roles. She revealed that Venus and Serena Williams' sisters -- Isha and Lyndrea Price -- were present on set every day. The actresses had the opportunity to speak with the Price sisters and learn about their childhood.

Sidney explained that King Richard allows its viewers to delve into the lives of the tennis icons and watch their evolution from young girls to tennis champions.

"We had Isha Price and Lyndrea Price - their sisters - on set every day," Saniyya Sidney said. "So we got to talk to them a lot about how they were just as young girls. We see them now as tennis legends, but this movie kind of lets you inside their life when they were just around eight or nine, so getting to see the evolution of how they were from young girls to becoming young women, it was something we definitely wanted to channel."

Edited by Sarbajaya Bhattacharya
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