I was honoured to be invited to the premiere of King Richard in Brisbane on 13 December 2021 at Reading Cinemas Newmarket.
King Richard reminded me of the time I tried tennis as a child amongst many activities such as piano, chorale singing, Girl Guides and, of course, swimming.
It was at a time when Coles supported Queensland junior tennis so there was a shopping trolley involved. And as you can see from my recent red moment carpet, there was a shopping trolley involved in the Williams sisters’ formative years too.
King Richard is the story of a dream for two daughters, not even yet conceived, to become the greatest tennis players in the world – crossing class and racial barriers and lifting a family out of poverty in the process.
A true story about Venus and Serena Williams’ beginning in tennis and a bio epic on the life of their father Richard, played by Will Smith.
It was a story I had to see to believe. I went from laughing at Will Smith’s portrayal of Richard Williams’, desperately wanting to get home and Google if a particular situation actually happened (spoiler alert: it did. In fact, things seem even worse when you look up the real events than in the movie).
As I watched and reflected, there was some serious reflection about the role of parents and coaches in sport and guiding children’s lives with some deep undertones of class and racial inequality and opportunities to get ahead in life.
So much more respect for @venuswilliams and @serenawilliams becoming the outstanding women, not just tennis players, they are today.
I had no idea that this was their upbringing. This is a movie sure to begin some much-needed conversations in the sporting world. Thank you for the invitation Warner Bros Australia.
P.S. This was a Covid-safe movie premiere like no other I’d been to. Instead of swanky food, drinks and mingling with other guests, you line up, check in and prove your vaccination status. Then you and your ‘plus one’ stand in a socially distanced line for photos in front of the media wall. You know how to take your own photos but a tripod with disinfectant wipes is provided so that nobody else is handling your phone (other photographers stand metres away with a roped off area to ensure social distancing). Enter the cinema to find the food and drink is popcorn and a water bottle with multiple empty seats between guests. The lights are off when you come in and off when you go out so you never got to speak to anyone else who was there. Keeping it safe!