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Emma Stone captures Billie Jean King’s ‘drive’ in tennis biopic

Cover Media logo Cover Media 13/08/2017 covermg.com
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Emma Stone captures Billie Jean King’s energy and “drive” in new film Battle of the Sexes.

Co-directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, the upcoming sports movie is loosely based on the 1973 tennis match between Bobby Riggs and King, which she won in three sets.

When it came to casting the lead role, Dayton and Faris immediately agreed that Stone would be perfect for the part.

“They're actually quite alike,” Dayton told Total Film magazine of Stone and King. “They're two of the most exceptional people I've ever met. There's a drive in them, as well as a goodness.”

The famous Battle of the Sexes match took place in front of over 30,000 spectators and a worldwide television audience estimated at 50 million people, with 29-year-old King eventually beating 55-year-old Riggs. While the match is considered a very significant event in developing greater recognition and respect for women's tennis, Faris is adamant that the film’s plot doesn’t solely focus on the game.

“The film really tells the story that was happening in her personal life, at the same time the match was happening. The idea that as she had the most attention on her, she was also going through a real transformation, personally,” she said.

Throughout her career, King won 39 Grand Slam titles and is still considered to be one of the world’s greatest players. And the 73-year-old gave her blessing to both the film, and the script penned by Simon Beaufoy.

“This is the endorsed, official telling of this time of her life,” added Dayton.

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