‘Funnest Times in Her Life’: King Richard Actor Shares How Serena Williams Remembers Coach Rick Macci

Published 12/23/2021, 6:30 AM EST
PARIS, FRANCE May 29. Serena Williams of the United States shares a joke with coach Patrick Mouratoglou while training on Court Philippe-Chatrier in preparation for the 2021 French Open Tennis Tournament at Roland Garros on May 29th 2021 in Paris, France. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)


Venus and Serena Williams have been off the WTA circuit for quite a while now. The two champion sisters are both megastars in their own right. However, injuries have kept them off the court lately.

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However, the superhero duo of Venus and Serena have still had their hands full. Not only do the sisters have multiple businesses and entrepreneurial avenues, but they are also movie-makers now. Venus and Serena Williams are both the executive producers of the new movie ‘King Richard’. It is a biographical drama about their lives and the struggles they faced growing up.

Jon Bernthal plays Rick Macci, former coach to Serena Williams

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In an interview with Good Morning America, actor Jon Bernthal describes the experience of playing the role of Rick Macci. Macci was the first professional coach to both Venus and Serena Williams. In fact, he is the one who kickstarted both girls’ careers by aiding them financially as well.

22 Jul 1992: Venus Williams receives instructions from her father Richard and coach Rick Macci in Florida. Mandatory Credit: Ken Levine /Allsport

Bernthal talks about the significance of this role. “This (movie) is a beautiful meditation on family and the power of family and the power of faith. I’m really grateful I got to be a part of it,” he shares.

Furthermore, he also shares how it was only after playing the movie that he became ‘a tennis junkie’. In fact, Bernthal, who coaches both Venus and Serena Williams (in the movie) had never even played tennis before!

He described his experience in training at the Weil Tennis Academy in Ojai, California. “I trained not only in playing tennis but also they let me coach. I got to coach this top 50 junior nationalist- I got to train her, run drills, get into the vocabulary of coaching, learn how to feed.”

Of course, getting the tennis right in a movie about two tennis megastars was crucial. “I really think we got the tennis right and I think it’s going to be important to the tennis community,” Bernthal says.

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Serena endearingly looks back at time with Macci

Bernthal then talks about how people think of Rick Macci, including Serena Williams. “The first thing they say is that it was the funnest times in their life,” he shares.

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Thus, he tried to bring that in his acting performance as Macci. Additionally, the gratitude and love he felt towards his tennis coaches were what he tried to emulate. “So I just wanted to keep these amazing young women who played these roles laughing, keep them fun,” Jon continues. “It was fun to keep it fun!”

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DIVE DEEPER: How Many Siblings Does Serena Williams Have?

 

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Samarveer Singh

252 articles

Samarveer Singh is a tennis writer at EssentiallySports. Holding a degree in English Literature and a diploma in Fitness Sciences and Training, Samarveer is obsessed with tennis and basketball. He is also an automotive writer at HotCars.

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