If Emma Stone auditioned for the part of tennis legend Billie Jean King in the upcoming biopic Battle of the Sexes, I’m guessing that audition consisted solely of how good she looked in a pair of vintage Pierre Cardin frames and a rinse of Miss Clairol in #62 Coffee Brown. Because apparently she’s not very good at tennis. You know, the thing her character is supposed to be really good at.
Page Six says that even though Emma took tennis lessons (including some one-on-ones with Billie Jean King herself) before filming, she was still so bad at tennis (“How bad is she?!“) that a body double who is really good at tennis was hired to fill in for her during the tennis-playing scenes. An insider tells Page Six:
“Billie Jean herself tried to teach Emma to play tennis, but she was useless, so they got a body double.”
Steve Carell, on the other hand, is apparently really good. Steve plays Bobby Riggs, the 55-year-old retired tennis player who challenged Billie Jean King to said battle, and the source says he did all his own “action” scenes. However, a second source is side-eyeing the first source’s claim that Steve is Pete Sampras in disguise. They say both Emma and Steve for-real play tennis in the movie and both had body doubles. They add that there are always doubles during a shoot that involves a sport, skill, or stunt. Forget Battle of the Sexes; Battle of the Sources is the movie I want to see. Get ’em, source two! Kick source one’s ass!
I’m actually shocked Emma picked up a tennis racket at all for shooting. Movies these days are 98% digital fakery anyway, so it’s kind of refreshing to hear that they didn’t just put her and Steve Carell in full-body motion capture suits, and CGI them into a fake tennis game with a cartoon tennis ball in post-production.