Already tipped for Oscar glory, King Richard – the sports biopic tracing the rise of tennis legends Venus and Serena Williams – is out now in UK and US cinemas.
Set in the 1990s, the film takes us behind-the scenes of the sporting icons’ early lives, following their journey from tennis hopefuls to global superstars.
Directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green and written by Zach Baylin, the film offers a slight twist in that it’s actually more about their tennis coach father, Richard Williams (Will Smith), who takes extraordinary risks and trains them to become champions.
Despite having no background in the sport, Smith has said that he’s at a point in his life where he has a “deep enough comprehension” to play the role.
Speaking at a premiere event for King Richard on No. 1 Court at Wimbledon in London recently, he said: “I think that at this time in my life, I’m a better actor than I’ve ever been because I’m exploring my life and my experiences honestly. The ability to observe myself and to be able to be honest with myself and to be honest with the world is actually cultivating a deeper acting toolbox for me.
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“My body is my instrument and the animating force of that is my emotional life. So the deeper comprehension I have of my emotional life, the more intricate and nuanced characters I can play. I think this is the first time I’ve been in deep enough comprehension to understand Richard Williams and then to deliver the subtle and delicate complexities and nuances.”
Read on for your complete guide to the King Richard cast and characters – including where you might have seen them before.
King Richard cast - Full list of stars and characters
Will Smith as Richard Williams
Who is Richard Williams? Richard Williams is Serena and Venus Williams’ father and tennis coach – a larger-than-life figure who somehow willed a dream into reality.
And, as far as Serena is concerned, a better person could not have been picked to portray her father.
"No word describes it better than just surreal, just to see these incredible actresses and everyone behind it just putting this all together about our dad's journey, but because of myself and my sister, it really is like, 'Wow, really, OK, are we really something?'” she said.
"It really is super surreal for me and then to have Will play this role as my father and the way he embodied Richard Williams, it took the film to a whole other level. It's so emotional, it's well done and it's a brilliant piece of work."
What else has Will Smith been in? Smith got his breakout role in the sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Since then, the actor has gone on to secure roles in Men in Black, I Am Legend, the Bad Boys franchise, The Pursuit of Happyness, Suicide Squad, Independence Day and Seven Pounds among several other films. Smith is also a producer and was heavily involved in the production of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reboot, titled Bel-Air, coming soon to Peacock.
Aunjanue Ellis as Oracene “Brandy” Price
Who is Oracene “Brandy” Price? Oracene “Brandy Price” is a nurse, Richard’s Williams’ wife and the mother of Venus and Serena Williams.
What else has Aunjanue Ellis been in? Aunjanue Ellis is best known for her roles in HBO’s Lovecraft Country, Designated Survivor, When They See Us, Quantico, Ray, The Help and NCIS: Los Angeles.
Saniyya Sidney as Venus Williams
Who is Venus Williams? Venus Williams is a champion tennis player and former World No. 1 in singles and doubles. King Richard follows her early days in the sport and road to going pro.
What else has Saniyya Sidney been in? Saniyya Sidney has previously bagged a number of roles in Denzel Washington’s Fences, Roots, Hidden Figures, American Horror Story and TV series The Passage.
Demi Singleton as Serena Williams
Who is Demi Singleton? Demi Singleton plays invincible sporting legend and sister to Venus, Serena Williams, who has also held the No.1 ranking in both singles and doubles simultaneously.
Admitting that she cries every time she watches the film’s trailer, Venus praised the family-like bond between Sidney and Singleton, telling Digital Spy: "Even when the cameras weren't rolling (they were holding hands and it was so sweet... they really understand our family and portrayed us in a way that was really us."
What else has Demi Singleton been in? The actress is best known for her parts in Goldie and Godfather of Harlem.
Jon Bernthal as Ric Macci
Who is Ric Macci? The tennis coach, who runs a world-famous tennis academy in Florida where Venus and Serena go to train, was another influential force in shaping their careers.
What else has Jon Bernthal been in? The actor is most famous for portraying the titular role in Marvel Netflix’s The Punisher and Daredevil. He has also starred in other projects including The Walking Dead, The Wolf of Wall Street, Widows, Baby Driver, The Many Saints of Newark, The Accountant and Wind River.
Mikayla LaShae Bartholomew as Tunde Price
Who is Tunde Price? Tunde is the oldest half-sister of Serena and Venus Williams and daughter of Brandy from another marriage.
What else has Mikayla LaShae Bartholomew been in? The actress guest starred in the TV series The Code and has also appeared in the short film Pure.
Tony Goldwyn as Paul Cohen
Who is Paul Cohen? A top tennis coach in the US, Paul Cohen is the Williams' first teacher.
What else has Tony Goldwyn been in? The actor is best known for his roles in Lovecraft Country, Scandal, Ghost, The Mechanic and Divergent.
Daniele Lawson as Isha Price
Who is Isha Price? Price is a lawyer and also Venus and Serena’s sister.
What else has Daniele Lawson starred in? The actress has guest starred in a number of TV shows, including Young Sheldon, Scandal and 9-1-1.
King Richard supporting cast
The cast is rounded out by Layla Crawford as Venus and Serena’s sister Lyndrea Price, Dylan McDermott as sports agent Will Hodges, and Marcela Zacarias and Kevin Dunn as tennis players Arantxa Sanchez Vicario and Vic Braden respectively.
King Richard is out in cinemas now. The film also airs on HBO Max in the US.