Will Smith Stars in King Richard: An Ode to Venus and Serena Williams’ Father

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Nakylah Carter, theScene Editor

“King Richard” premiered to a small group of Aggie students this week courtesy of Warner Bros studios. The biopic stars the two-time Oscar-nominated actor Will Smith acting as the famous father, Richard Williams.

The film follows the life of the iconic tennis sister duo Venus and Serena Williams and the father who groomed them to be the living legends known globally today. It showcases the trials the family went through before achieving greatness.

Warner Brother Productions hosted a global exclusive interview with select college journalists to get insight from the cast on the making of the film and to dive deeper into each character. 

The emphasis on family is a motif of the film, and during filming, the cast said this theme transcended from on-screen to real-life interactions. 

“We keep hearing the word family here, and that’s just the deal. I mean, this was all about family, and this was such an unbelievable honor to be a part of this family and this beautiful story,” John Bernthal said, actor of Rick Macci in the film.

The movie stars some of Hollywood’s largest names, such as Smith, Bernthal, Tony Goldwin, Aunjanue Ellis and Liev Schreiber, to name a few. 

As part of the promotion for the movie, Warner Bros partnered with N.C. A&T student ambassadors to allow an immersive and free experience to watch the premiere of the film. Ryan Steed, a junior marketing student and Warner Bros ambassador, was one of the overseers of the “King Richard” initiative for Aggies.

“The objective was to promote the premiere of ‘King Richard’ by allowing N.C. A&T students have the opportunity to see it before it premieres for free,” Steed said. “Warner Bros paid and reserved the theatre for the students. This was done with seven other schools across the country.”

The promotional showing was sold out, with Aggies eager to watch the film at the local Regal Greensboro Grande Stadium 16. The showing included free entry, free concessions and a giveaway of one $100 Uber Eats code.

Senior psychology student Siera Williams was grateful for the experience and loved Warner Bros’ partnership with N.C. A&T and other HBCUs.

“I love it. I love Black people. I love being inclusive. I love big corporations doing things for us and not looking over us; it’s great,” Williams said.

Senior biology student Jasmine Lewter shared similar enjoyment of the film and was pleased by the opportunity. 

“I think this was great because, honestly, if it wasn’t offered to me like this, I probably would not have gone to see it,” Lewter said. “I think that it was really great, and now, I’m really glad that I did see it because, what a great movie.” 

The film left Aggies inspired and the theatre in a round of applause for the performance. 

“I thought that the movie was really, really well done. I thought that the acting was great– thought the storyline was great. It was very inspiring. We loved it– we loved every second of it,” Lewter said. 

King Richard is currently available in theaters and on HBO Max.