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

Published 12/23/2021, 6:30 AM EST

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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.

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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.


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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.

‘Really Challenging’: Venus and Serena Williams’ Half-Sister Describes The Experience of Working on ‘King Richard’

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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Written by:

Samarveer Singh


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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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