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“That Was Probably My Favorite Moment on Set”- Demi Singleton Details Meeting Serena Williams for the First Time.

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Serena Williams

King Richard is a 2021 American biographical drama film that follows the life of Richard Williams, the father and the coach of famed tennis players Venus Williams and Serena Williams, who also serve as executive producers of the film. Demi Singleton is an actress, singer, dancer, and cellist who plays a young Serena Williams in “King Richard,” alongside Will Smith, who plays her father, Richard Williams.

Demi aged 14, started dancing at age 3, singing at age 7, and soon booked roles on Broadway. King Richard is her big Hollywood debut. “I just felt so loved and taken care of the entire time,” she said. She developed a sisterly bond with Saniyya Sidney, who plays Venus Williams.

It was a surprise for Demi Singleton when she met Serena Williams. Demi had to do a double-take when she saw a familiar figure in the producer’s tent on the set of King Richard.

Also read: The Net Worth of the Williams Sisters – How Much Money Have Venus and Serena Williams Made Through Tennis and Brand Endorsements?

Demi Singleton in as Serena Williams in King Richard

 

“We were filming a house scene. We go, ‘Oh my God, Serena’s here, this is amazing,’ and a few minutes later, Serena walks into the house,” Demi tells Teen Vogue. “I was trying not to bawl my eyes out.” “She comes in and she’s like, Hi, I’m Serena, nice to meet you all, [And then] she points to us and basically tells us which character we are… She goes, You play Isha, you play Venus, and then she finally points to me and goes: And you play me. And I was like ‘yeah, I play you.’ That was probably my favorite moment on set” recalls star-struck Demi.

The set visit happened right before the USA  and the entertainment industry went into COVID-19 lockdown in 2020. Demi says she was able to spend a little bit of time with Serena but for the most part, the actor had to find other ways to prepare for her portrayal of the greatest athlete of all time.

Singleton studied Serena Williams’s mannerisms, but nothing prepared her more than meeting the Williams sisters on set. “We had a very long conversation about their teenage dating lives,” she said. “It was really cool to get to see them from a different perspective, and see them talking about something other than what they’re famous for.”

 

Demi Singleton had never played tennis before “King Richard.” She took three lessons before her final audition because the casting directors wanted to see her and Saniyya Sidney hit some balls together. “I was learning to play like a literal icon,” she said. “I had to mimic her. If I were to go play right now, I wouldn’t know how to play like anyone else but Serena Williams.”

Handling the Williams sister’s story with grace and compassion was Demi’s top priority. She wanted to ensure that she was doing not only Serena but the entire Williams family justice.