Emma Stone, is that you? We know her as the red-headed — sometimes blonde — witty ingénue, but in Battle of the Sexes, which premieres in September, Stone looks unrecognizable. In the clip above, she explains just what it took for her to become tennis star Billie Jean King.
"Playing Billie Jean, I wanted to learn as much as I possibly could, especially about Billie Jean in that era," she says. Stone plays King circa 1973, when the renowned tennis player faced Bobby Riggs in the most famous "exhibition tennis match" to earn the title of "Battle of the Sexes." (The term is used for exhibition matches between a man and a woman.)
After defeating tennis player Margaret Court in a similar match, Riggs (Steve Carell in the movie) challenged King to match, offering $100,000 as the cash prize. Their match, which aired September 20, 1973 on ABC, garnered an estimated 90 million viewers worldwide.
"Emma was definitely in it physically, because Billie Jean was a world class tennis player, a world class athlete," Stone's co-star Carell says.
But Stone's resemblance to the character wasn't just physical.
"Billie Jean and Emma — they both have the same sort of bright light [and] fierce commitment to her craft, and I think they really connected on that," explains Valerie Faris, the director of the film.
Battle of the Sexes arrives in theaters September 22.
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