“King Richard,” the new movie starring Will Smith about the rise of Venus and Serena Williams and the role their father, Richard Williams, played in that, is finally in theaters. The roles of the legendary tennis stars went to new faces Saniyya Sidney, as Venus, and Demi Singleton, as Serena. WWD got a behind the scenes look at premiere night with Singleton, who is just 14 years old yet already a Chanel veteran. Below, Singleton chats about the film and attached she shares her photo diary from the night.
Tell us about your Chanel look – how did you choose what to wear? What was the feel you wanted?
“For this particular look I wanted something cool and fresh, something that gave off edgy vibes. I also wanted to feel like what Serena and Venus are to me: heroes. These ideas inspired me to want to wear something with a cape. I felt very heroic!”
What was the most exciting part of the premiere night?
“I think the most exciting part was getting to see my amazing costars and the real-life people we were portrayed in the film. I absolutely adore all the people involved with ‘King Richard,’ so getting to be together again was amazing.”
Who did you get ready with?
“I got ready with my family and my extraordinary stylist and glam squad: Jason Bolden, Tasha Reiko Brown, and Kim Kimble.”
What is Serena like in person? What was it like meeting her for the first time?
“Serena is probably one of the most kind hearted, fun people I’ve ever met. When I met her in person, I’m not going to lie, I was nervous. Serena is a woman that I have looked up to for years, even before I was a tennis fan. But once I spoke with her and Venus, I realized that I really had nothing to be nervous about. They are both so humble, and that makes it easy to talk to them. I love them both so much.”
What was your favorite part about playing her?
“I think one of my many favorite parts of playing Serena was being able to explore another era in fashion. ‘King Richard’ is a period piece, so it was really fun to get to wear all of the ‘80s and ‘90s fashion trends.”