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‘His Moustache Is a Lot Pusher’- Former Serena Williams’ Coach Discloses His Only Problem With Will Smith-Starrer ‘King’ Richard

Published 04/19/2023, 9:46 AM EDT

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Nearly all tennis enthusiasts have seen the biopic on Richard Williams, the father of Venus and Serena Williams. The cast, screenplay, and plot of the movie all turned out to be great. Each actor who participated in the incredible tennis film had certain commonalities with the characters they portrayed. While Will Smith played the role of Richard Williams to perfection, the other actors did everything in their power to be as close to the real-life personalities that they were playing on the screen.

The hardest thing was, however, finding the ideal match for the film’s myriad characters. Serena Williams’ former coach Rick Macci recently dished out compliments for the movie and opened up about Hollywood actor Jon Bernthal who played his character in the film. However, Macci did find one thing about the actor that he did not resonate with.

Serena Williams’ childhood coach opens up about the movie King Richard


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The 68-year-old American tennis coach recently appeared on a podcast interview with Tennisnerd. And in that interview, he talked about how he felt that the 46-year-old American actor was the right fit to portray his character in the King Richard movie. Along with that, he also revealed one component he didn’t like about the Hollywood actor.

He recalled, “I talked to Bernthal many times Jon Bernthal. The guy played me. I didn’t know I was that wired up. But people said yes, Rick, you are kinda like that way a little bit. His mustache was a lot pusher than mine. I had a little, a little piece of astroturf back in the 90s. But one thing I loved about the movie, and they watch video, and they read my book and stuff like that.” 


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Additionally, he also emphasized how amazing the movie was and how much he enjoyed the love he received after the movie.

However, it was not easy to get into Serena Williams’ coach’s role. Earlier, the King Richard star Bernthal revealed how he worked hard to make himself the right fit to portray the American tennis coach’s character.


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When Joe Bernthal spoke about the homework he did to nail the Serena Williams’ coach’s role to perfection 

Do you know that the 46-year-old Hollywood actor actually lost 30 pounds and learned to play tennis to do justice to Rick Macci’s on-screen  portrayal? Last year, in an interview with IndieWire, the actor made a revelation. He stated that he started training for 3 to 6 hours every day on the tennis court after he was selected for the role.

WATCH THIS STORY – Serena Williams pays tribute to Roger Federer.


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Additionally, he talked about a tennis academy in his hometown of Ojai, California, named the Weil Tennis Academy where he literally learned ‘tennis like hell’, just to play Rick Macci on screen. Along with that, he also revealed that he coached other players in the academy to capture the mindset of an elite trainer like Macci.

What do you think of Joe Bernthal’s portrayal of Rick Macci in the movie King Richard? Let us know in the comments below.



Pratishtha Prakash

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Pratishtha Prakash is a Tennis writer at EssentiallySports. She has completed her Bachelor’s degree in Mass Media and Journalism from MIT ADT University, Pune. In the past, she has interned at the sports desk of The Hitavada, a regional English daily newspaper.

Edited By: Arijit Saha