The real Coach Rick Macci from the movie King Richard lives in South Florida, and he told Narcity his thoughts about the Oscar-winning performance.
He also described his tight-knit relationship with professional tennis stars, sisters Venus and Serena Williams, and their reunion at the movie's watch party in Los Angeles.
"What I liked about the movie," says Coach Rick Macci, "is it told the true story."
The legendary tennis coach and his academy, The Rick Macci Academy and Tennis Center, played a huge role in the sisters' lives, which was emphasized in the movie.
Rick Macci, Venus Williams and Richard Williams training on the tennis court.Courtesy of Rick Macci
"I didn't know I was that juiced up all the time!" Macci joked as he reflected on his portrayal on-screen. He says he thought the actor who portrayed him, Jon Bernthal, did a great job because he really showed his relationship with Richard Williams and his daughters.
Bernthal did a deep dive into his character through Macci's books, YouTube, and many instructional videos.
The development of the movie took a couple of years due to the pandemic putting a pause on everything, and the coach says Will Smith, who played Richard Williams, did a fantastic job. The instructor says that, from the mannerisms to the dialect, Smith played the role perfectly, and he knew when he saw it on the big screen, that he would win an Oscar for his performance.
Coach Rick Macci and the Williams sisters.Courtesy of Rick Macci
While coaching national champions throughout the years, Macci and the academy had always been busy, but it grew in publicity as the spotlight was on his training facility. Since, he has been on numerous podcasts, and many opportunities have been presented to him.
"At the end of the day, when I went out to California for the red carpet and the after-party to reunite with Venus and Serena, we were telling stories, laughing, crying, the jokes, it was just like putting a bow around the whole thing," says Macci.
He says there are many more stories they wish they included because they always enjoyed their time together.
Richard Williams and Rick Macci Courtesy of Rick Macci
The tennis coach says there's a reality show and documentary in the works, and he's even been approached to write some children's books.
"I don't just change grips and strokes, I change lives," says Macci. He wants people to watch King Richard to inspire and motivate the audience.
He says he took a major chance on the Williams sisters, from Compton to center court, and it was worth every minute.