The highly anticipated film tells the story of Richard Williams, Venus and Serena’s father and coach. Will Smith stars in the title role, with Demi Singleton and Saniyya Sidney portraying the world-renowned tennis champs. The joy on the red carpet was palpable, and as expected, everyone looked nothing short of amazing.
During a recent appearance on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, Will Smith admitted he was terrified of Venus and Serena’s opinions of the film.
“It is terrifying when you play a real person that is still alive and you know that they’re going to see it,” he told the late night host, explaining that although Venus and Serena were excited, the jury was still out on whether or not they would publicly support the movie. Their support depended entirely on whether or not they liked it.
“Venus and Serena cried all the way through. They loved it,” Smith went on, adding “What was really interesting to me is we all feel like we have a picture of Richard Williams and it’s the classic overbearing father, hammering his children… but in sitting with Venus and Serena and their sisters and their mother, it was completely the opposite. He was a loving, caring, doting father. Venus referred to it as ‘the Jedi mind trick’ — that he had somehow made it so they would have to ask him ‘Please daddy can we play tennis?!’ Their punishment would be that they couldn’t play tennis when they got in trouble. He aligned with what they wanted for themselves, more than demanding what he wanted for them.”
Will added that, that was “a real lesson” for him as a parent.
Check out the official trailer and more photos from the premiere below. There were a lot of standout moments, including Will Smith kissing wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s forehead, little Alexis Olympia posing with her parents, and Willow and Jaden Smith showing up and showing out.
King Richard hits theaters this Friday, November 19.