We continue our look at the eagerly-anticipated release of sport biopic Battle of the Sexes, the true story of Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) and Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) who played each other in a historic tennis match back in 1973, by chatting to the film’s cast and directors.
Legendary screen actress Elisabeth Shue is part of the incredible array of talent in the film, playing alongside Carell as Rigg’s wife Priscilla Wheelan, and has to negotiate her way through their troubled marriage as Riggs’ ego begins to take over. For Shue, a tennis player herself, meeting Billie Jean King was enough of an incentive to be part of the film, saying:
“It was, especially for a tennis addict! I love tennis so much and when I was 37 I started playing every day and tried to train like I was a professional tennis player so it’s been so much fun to get serving advice from Billie Jean, my daughter got some advice too and what it was like when she was young so it’s been heaven.”
Shue shares most of her scenes with Carell and, as with many critics and filmgoers, was enamoured with his performance as Riggs which combines his brilliant comedic acting with his more serious traits and Shue says it was a pleasure to see him work, saying:
“I was so grateful first of all for playing his wife and I knew that my job was to understand him and ultimately love him and forgive him so to have Steve who was going to portray this character in such a complicated and an emotionally authentic way meant so much to me because I was there supporting him and trying to love him. I have so much respect for him that he is both a really funny comedian and can show Bobby’s pain and need for attention.”
The actress is famous for many roles over her long career, whether it’s Adventures in Babysitting, Bak to the Future II and III, Cocktail, Leaving Las Vegas and more and Shue says she is delighted that some of her early works still hold up and are being discovered by a whole new range of audiences through home media and Netflix, saying:
“It’s all really great. I’m so happy that a few of them – maybe not all of them – but definitely a few of them have stood the test of time! ‘Adventures in Babysitting’ was one of my favourites and I really love that it still holds up – it’s got great pacing, the comedy is still strong, I like there’s a woman in the lead for my kids to see so I’m very proud that I was in a few of them… I’m so happy that I’m part of the iconic, mythical movie series (Back to the Future), Michael J. Fox was just such an incredible person and Christopher Lloyd – I’m so grateful to have been in those films.”
Battle of the Sexes opens in UK cinemas on November 24th.