In 1973, the Battle of the Sexes was the name of a tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs that put the concepts of feminism and chauvinism on full blast in the media and the public eye. Now the movie Battle of the Sexes with Emma Stone and Steve Carell examines what went on behind the scenes of the Battle of the Sexes that led up to the tennis match that saw Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs battling for gender dominance (Spoiler Alert: Billie Jean King won).
The movie Battle of the Sexes with Emma Stone and Steve Carell is not just about the tennis match Battle of the Sexes, but rather the people, the human beings behind the event which examined gender strengths and weaknesses. And in the movie Battle of the Sexes, people can learn more about the supporting cast of the tennis event, like Billie Jean King’s husband as well as Bobby Riggs’ wife.
What the public saw at the build-up to the match was akin to the smack talk before a prize fight, but the reality behind the Battle of the Sexes is portrayed as so much more by Emma Stone and Steve Carell. Battle of the Sexes is less a tennis biographical movie, and more a study of public and private personas. Emma Stone expertly portrays Billie Jean King who is at the top professionally, but is leading a double life personally and Steve Carell as Bobby Riggs who is past his prime in tennis and tries to hide a gambling problem (which is what sparked the match between King and Riggs in the first place) and potential drug use (his dealer is skillfully played by Fred Armisen).
Behind the scenes of Battle of the Sexes, Emma Stone had the advantage of being able to meet and get to know Billie Jean King and really observe her and pick her brain, while Steve Carell had to become Bobby Riggs based on watching film and talking to friends and family because Riggs died in the nineties.
On becoming Billie Jean King in Battle of the Sexes, Emma Stone had to take a leap, as playing a real person who is still living can be a mixed bag.
“I’ve never played a real person. And now I’m playing Billie Jean King. She’s such an inspiring human. She’s accomplished great things in the face of adversity. Nothing in life was handed to Billie. She knew she was going be great since she was a child. This role is such an honor.”
Stone explained that in Battle of the Sexes she had to play Billie Jean King as someone who was fun-loving, but who also had a lot of pressure on her, as she was almost defending women everywhere.
“I had to put myself in Billie’s shoes. I tried to think about how she had to play this huge match in front of a huge crowd. Imagine the pressure she felt. If she lost to Riggs, she’d be letting down all womankind.”
To look at the stills from Battle of the Sexes, Steve Carell becomes Bobby Riggs. At the time of the tennis match, Battle of the Sexes between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, Riggs was waning professionally. Riggs had been off of the professional tennis tour for decades and was putting on a show as a chauvinist in order to score a big payday for the Battle of the Sexes tennis event. As Bobby Riggs, Carell was playing a faux misogynist spouting off to raise attention.
“I’m going to put the ‘show’ back in ‘chauvinism.'”
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For the movie Battle of the Sexes Emma Stone did not have to modify her body to play Billie Jean King the way that Steve Carell did. Bobby Riggs had sort of a middle-aged man, slightly out of shape body, so Carell had to thicken up a bit to become Bobby Riggs.
Will you see the movie Battle of the Sexes with Emma Stone and Steve Carell? Do you remember the Battle of the Sexes tennis match?
[Featured Image by Associated Press]