Continuing our coverage of this week’s big new release, Battle of the Sexes, we sat down with the legendary Billie Jean King to discuss the film based around her life and experiences with Bobby Riggs (played by Steve Carell in the film) and the legendary tennis match from 1973.

For any biopic it can surely be a strange watch for those involved and their families and the like, and for Billie Jean the experience was a strange one, saying:

“I don’t know if enjoy is the right word! That is part of it though, I had a lot of fun watching it – I thought that all the cast did a great job, every single character they got right which I don’t know how they did it. But Emma was amazing, how she got my mannerisms, my speech pattern, the way I walked and the rest. It was difficult to watch at times!”

“The whole cast is amazing – whether it be Andrea Riseborough and the others. Steve Carell got Bobby to a tee – he had many layers to him he wasn’t just this hustler out there promoting and loving the attention but if you go deeper into the marriage and how frantic he was and how desperate he was to keep his marriage together and his kids.”

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King loved many aspects of the film, including the filmmakers Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, and was hugely surprised at just how authentic and accurate the tennis aspects of the film played out and the re-staging of the match, saying:

“This film really truly did a great job with the tennis aspect. The way they brought in Howard Cosell (tennis coach) and got the real tape of him from the game and put Natalie Morales in with him – people tried for years to get the audio but they got the image as well so they much have written an amazing letter to the family to get that, it was amazing!”

King has been a pioneer for many people over her long career, whether it’s within sport or elsewhere, and says the film continues that trend ans that she is hopeful that it will touch many people across the globe, saying:

“I hope everyone enjoys this and I hope the younger audiences really want to keep fighting for equality and freedom and I hope it helps the LGBTQ community and if I can help one person be more comfortable in his or hers or there own skin then that would be great.”

Battle of the Sexes is released in UK cinemas on November 24th.