Will Smith’s superpower as a performer — as a movie star — has always been his radiating charisma. Who else could have credibly portrayed Muhammad Ali, the most charismatic man ever? In “King Richard,” Smith transmutes that gift into something subtler but just as powerful in his portrayal of Richard Williams, father of Venus and Serena. (Smith, as he was eager to acknowledge, was supported in the film by Saniyya Sidney as Venus, Demi Singleton as Serena and Aunjanue Ellis as the girls’ mother and Williams’s wife at the time, Oracene Price.) Richard Williams, as embodied by Smith, is a man who has been physically bowed but not beaten. He has a limp from a racist attack as a child; his carriage is tense, a little unsure, as if always on alert for a sucker punch. He’s someone who has spent time beneath the underdog. And yet when it comes to Williams’s daughters and his dreams for them of tennis greatness, Smith invests his character with his trademark on-screen self-assurance. That Smith, who is 53 and who this autumn published a searching memoir, “Will,” was able to express those disparate traits so effectively is something he attributes to the work, precipitated by that book, that he has lately put into himself. “I wouldn’t have been able to play Richard Williams in this way,” Smith says, “before I had examined my life and understood so many aspects of my childhood and how that affected the decisions I made as a parent.”
There’s a key scene in “King Richard” in which Richard Williams talks about getting beaten up by a gang of white men as a child and seeing his father run away rather than help him. Not wanting to repeat that act of cowardice is ostensibly what drove his behavior toward his daughters. In your book, you write about seeing your dad hit your mom and how the cowardice that you felt for not intervening subsequently drove your own behaviors. When it came time to play Richard Williams, had you made any links between those situations? Absolutely. As an actor, you’re trying to find the aspects of the character that you most innately understand. So I could relate to Richard Williams similarly as I related to my father. I could relate to both their senses of disrespect. They felt unsupported and disrespected, and that was central for both of them. I started finding all those parallels, and also what happened is I got better as an actor during that time. I was organizing my memoir while I was working on “King Richard.” These two things have gone together. My ability as an actor expanded in the last 18 months. It’s one of the most exponential jumps in emotional comprehension that I’ve ever had.
Good acting can be such an intangible thing. What are you looking at as evidence of improvement? At the core, acting is what can you comprehend emotionally. And when you comprehend it emotionally, do you understand it enough to feel it and create interesting behavior around it? So something like Richard Williams’s walk: Now, you can mimic someone’s walk and look authentic. It’s a completely different thing when you know why the person is hunching over versus the stand-up-comedian version of it just mimicking it. Understanding that was the leap that happened: When you know why Richard Williams’s left leg hurts, what happened with the spike that got driven through it, that, as an actor, is the 90 percent of the iceberg that’s below the surface. When you’ve programmed it deeply, those things have corresponding vibrations for the audience that they don’t even realize.
Djokovic ‘avenger’ sails through as Krejcikova stung by Tsitsipas rule – Aus Open round-up
Barbora Krejcikova was one of the former Grand Slam champions on the women’s side to win overnight but was hit by the new bathroom break. Meanwhile, Miomir Kecmanovic continued to “avenge” Novak Djokovic with another victory.
Emma Raducanu, Andy Murray and Nick Kyrgios are all out of the Australian Open but the action – and the controversies – are carrying on.
One Grand Slam champion was hit with a time violation for a long toilet break – and then claimed she had broken her necklace. And another brought her five-year-son into her post-match press conference.
Home favourite Ash Barty, Naomi Osaka and Rafa Nadal are all in action later.
Barbora Krejcikova is the first player hit by the Tsitsipas rule
Andy Murray complained about the Greek player taking a long toilet break during their clash at the US Open last year.
And since then a new rule has been introduced to stop players leaving the court for too long between sets.
In a battle between French Open champions, she lost the first set to Jelena Ostapenko – and then disappeared for eight minutes. On her return, she claimed she had broken her necklace.
After her 2-6 6-4 6-4 win, the Czech said: “Today’s match was very tough, I had to dig deep to get this win, so I’m very happy and proud of myself. I’m never going to leave without a fight and I’m happy to show that on the court.”
Garbine Muguruza branded Krejcikova “unprofessional” for taking a taking a medical timeout at a crucial time during their fourth round match at the US Open
She took a nine-minute toilet break against Garbine Muguruza at the US Open
Meet Leo Azarenka
The two-time Australian Open champion destroyed No.15 seed Elina Svitolina 6-0 6-2 in only 67 minutes – and gave her press conference with her son on her knee.
And the first question was to five-year-old Leo. How did mummy play today?
He replied: “Awesome”.
The former world No.1 said: “It’s definitely not a distraction, I will never say that. Being a parent is not easy. He’s full of personality. I don’t know where he gets it from obviously.
“But I always feel privileged that I’m able to have him here. These kind of moments are really priceless for me. To be able to share that with my son is pretty incredible.”
Britain’s last singles player is back on a familiar court.
Andy Murray played both his matches in the John Cain Arena – the stadium where he also lost his first-round match in 2019.
And Nick Kyrgios describes the 10,500-seat arena – which is capped at 50% capacity – his favourite in the world because of the atmosphere generated by ground ticketholders.
And British No.2 Dan Evans will face No.9 seed Felix Auger-Aliassime in the last match there tomorrow not before 5pm local time.
Miomir Kecmanovic was supposed to play his fellow Serb Novak Djokovic in the first round – but instead got to play and beat lucky loser and world No.146. Salvatore Caruso.
Today the World No.77 beat another Italian – No.25 seed Lorenzo Sonego 6-4 6-7 6-2 7-5 – for the biggest win of his career. He will now face No.17 seed Gael Monfils.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Kecmanovic. “A week ago I was supposed to play the world No. 1 and didn’t have much of a chance there, but now I’m in the last 16, so I’m happy that I was able to use this chance and that I’ve been playing some really good tennis.”
Royal Family LIVE: Horror as Meghan Markle ‘actively targeted’ by millions in £2.8m attack
MEGHAN MARKLE has been “actively targeted” by a £2.8million “hate-for-profit enterprise” viewed by millions online, according to new data.
Research compiled by data analytics service Bot Sentinel found the Duchess was a victim of three anti-Meghan YouTube channels. The report found together the channels had accumulated a total of 497 million views and an estimated £2.8million in revenue.
Bot Sentinel said: “It’s our opinion that several of the most well-known and active hate accounts were actively targeting journalists and royal commentators to boost their visibility and amplify their hate campaign; in some cases, they were successful.” In 2019 Meghan claimed she learned she had been one of the “most trolled people” in the world.
Taro Daniel SWEARS in hilarious on-court interview after beating Andy Murray at Aus Open
Taro Daniel had the Australian Open crowd inside the John Cain Arena in stitches during his on-court interview after beating Andy Murray for his honest assessment of the shock win. Murray rolled back the years on Monday when he defeated Nikoloz Basilashvili in a five-set thriller.
In 2019, Murray looked as though he was bowing out of the sport in a tearful press conference.
But three years later, he bounced back with a strong win against the No 21 seed.
An easier test was expected against Japan’s Daniel, who had never gone past the second round of a major in his career.
The 28-year-old had built up some momentum after coming through the qualifiers without dropping a set and defeated Chile’s Marcelo Tomas Barrios Vera in the first round.
Murray was expected to provide a tougher test for Daniel, but the three-time major champion was far from his best.
While Murray was guilty of making a host of unforced errors, Daniel’s workrate and movement across the baseline was causing his opponent all sorts of problems.
Murray’s head dropped after going 2-0 down as he failed to take advantage of a few great opportunities.
And the former world No 1 even uncharacteristically smashed his racket to the floor before Daniel served for the match.
The Japanese tennis star was elated after winning the match with a serve-and-volley with the crowd jumping out their seats.
“It’s amazing,” Daniel said.
“Winning a match like this hear with a lot of people, especially after Covid playing without crowds and suddenly I’m able to play this big match. It’s unbelievable.