Demi Singleton says she learned to play at Tennis at pro-level to play Serena Williams in King Richard movie.
“When I play tennis, I look like Serena and I play like Serena, because that’s all I know,” said the 14 year old King Richard star actor over a Zoom meeting with GQ last month.
This claim is nowhere near exaggeration as the star actor carefully studied every aspect of the Tennis legend and 23 time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams and followed up on her life on and off the court as well.
Interestingly, Singleton had never quite held a tennis racket in her life prior to her final screening test and taking up of the iconic role. “My mom was, like, you have three tennis lessons to figure it out, Work your magic” said Singleton, only for her to be recalled days later after the final screen read. Yes, she got the role.
King Richard film, focuses on the dawn of the Williams sisters: Serena and Venus’s lives on the court, before they broke into super stardom.
It also flashes back when they shared a bedroom and how their father who was their biggest fan and supporter was desperate to find a suitable coach for their undeniable talents.
Co-incidentally the 14 year old actor, Singleton is exactly the same age Serena Williams was when she turned pro in Tennis which could also mean that, it’s safe to call her a prodigy at this stage.
More than 9 years in child acting, the Hollywood star actor also starred in The Lion King on Broadway playing the role of Young Nala, Simba’s love interest as well as appearing in a flashback as young Serena during a superbowl commercial played by Serena herself.
“Until maybe two years ago, if somebody told me that the score was 40-Love, I would look at them and be so puzzled”, said the 14 year old.
Singleton might not be a tennis fan nor a die hard hard sucker for the sport but her love for Serena Williams actually has little to do with Tennis itself.
“Serena Williams isn’t just a tennis player, she’s an icon. I distinctly remember seeing her play on TV when I was younger, and I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. She’s not afraid to do what she loves. I think that’s why I’ve always thought tennis was easy, because she makes it look so easy, right down to the outfits.”, Singleton says.
Serena Williams’ influence on the 14 year old would no doubt end in the movie industry or on set as the the King Richard star actor sees her as a role model for aspiring tennis athletes not just females but males also and who wouldn’t really?
The retired 40 year old American legend is the most successful woman to ever grace the court.