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Write On: A Screenwriting Podcast

Mar 11, 2022

King Richard tells the story of how tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams became who they are after the coaching from their father Richard Williams, played by Will Smith. Academy Award® nominated screenwriter Zach Baylin talked to Write On about getting the depiction of Richard Williams right for this biopic: "Richard was just such a dynamic guy. It was what you look for in any kind of protagonist. [He had] had a very distinct voice… really driven, had very clear goals that he wanted to achieve. But he could be incredibly self-defeating and self-sabotaging, and he could get in his own way and in other people's way... that just felt like such a compelling character to me."

Zach goes on to talk about getting his start as a screenwriter later in life: "I didn't sell scripts until I was 34… when I was writing from the time I got out of college to when I moved to New York and started working in film production solely with the purpose of getting a job as a writer. But I didn't really meet a ton of other writers, and I did it very in isolation. I would say that was a big mistake. I don't know if I was being too private about the fact that I wanted to do it, or that I felt I wasn't ready to show people, but I realize now that just having that network around you of other people who are doing it, who can give you feedback and also give you encouragement -- the whole networking aspect of it is so frustrating, but it's so necessary."

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