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Emma Stone Talks “Icon” Billie Jean King, “Battle Of The Sexes” On “Today” Show

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emma Stone Battle Sexes Today Show

By Shari Weiss |

emma Stone Battle Sexes Today Show

(NBC)

Emma Stone discussed her new movie Battle of the Sexes in a live interview on Thursday’s “Today” show. She also spoke about her admiration for Billie Jean King, whom she plays in the film. Watch the video below!

Battle of the Sexes is a biopic about the famous tennis showdown between King and Bobby Riggs, who faced off in 1973. Riggs was confident he could beat female players, leading King to accept the challenge. She ended up winning in straight sets. Now in the big-screen version of that iconic sporting event, Steve Carell portrays Riggs while his Crazy, Stupid, Love co-star Stone stars as King.

On the NBC morning show, Stone’s appearance got off to an amusing star when Savannah Guthrie noted the Oscar winner “dropped several F-bombs” during a recent late-night interview. “Do I need to get my bleeper out?” Guthrie asked. Just for kicks, the control room then did several bleeps. Transitioning to the topic of the film, Stone, who wasn’t even born at the time of the tennis match, admitted there was a “learning curve.” But after doing her “homework” and spending time with King, she’s now a total fan.

Stone gushed, “Billie Jean, she’s an absolute icon. Now we know her as this hero for equality and LGBTQ rights, but at 29 — she was also number one in the world and did this ‘Battle of the Sexes’ — she was also struggling with a lot of things internally with her personal life, so the story was so fascinating. We stand on her shoulders, so it was really a huge honor to get to try, attempt, to play her.”

To prepare for the role, the actress shared, “It was a lot of learning tennis, a lot of weightlifting, a lot of, you know, things that I had never really done. But the team of people who were around me, supporting me, were unbelievable. There’s no way I would’ve been able to do that without at least a dozen people helping me on a daily basis.” She worked with trainer Jason Walsh, who “bulked me up more than I ever thought would be possible,” and admitted that mastering King’s tennis style was “another major learning curve.”

“It became kind of choreography, like learning all of her specific [moves], you know, her specific serve, one-handed backhand, learning on a wooden racquet,” Stone explained, revealing that “watching her matches constantly and her interviews” helped. “It was just full steeping in Billie Jean,” she added, joking, “Billie Jean, I am a complete stalker of you. It is my job.” As the interview wound down, Guthrie pointed out Stone’s own success, and said, “You actually are a nice and normal person. How do you keep your head on straight?”

She replied, “I mean, to an extent I keep my head on straight… [My family and friends] could care less if this was happening or that was happening. They treat me exactly the same and they all make fun of me and I love it.” Check out the video below!

 


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