Venus and Serena Williams Both Signed Off on Will Smith For King Richard: "He's the Real Deal"

King Richard is getting a lot of love, especially from its real-life inspiration. Before signing on as executive producers of the biopic that stars Will Smith, Venus and Serena Williams first requested to see the final version of the movie. And while Smith told Jimmy Fallon it was “the worst two hours ever” waiting for their feedback, Venus assured us that he proved he was more than deserving of portraying their father.

“There are so many special moments throughout the film, but one of the highlights of seeing King Richard is Will Smith’s portrayal of our father,” she told POPSUGAR. “When he signed on to the role, we were definitely excited because he’s the real deal, and he surpassed all expectations. He truly did his part to understand our dad and embody his spirit.” Smith’s casting sparked controversy back in 2019 after people pointed out that he didn’t resemble Richard Williams’s looks — specifically, his light skin versus Williams’s dark skin. While many believed the role should’ve gone to another Black actor, the Williams sisters ultimately signed off on Smith portraying their father on screen.

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