Jon Bernthal shares what Serena Williams told him about coach Richard Macci

Bernthal, who plays Serena and Venus Williams' coach in the new film "King Richard," also learned how to play tennis for the role.
3:59 | 11/17/21

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Transcript for Jon Bernthal shares what Serena Williams told him about coach Richard Macci
Back now with Jon Bern that will. You know him from "The walking dead" and "The wolf of wall Street." Now he is one of the stars of "King Richard" starring willing Smith as the father of Serena and Venus Williams. Jon, we wish you a good morning. Thanks for joining us. Good morning to you, I really appreciate you having me. Oh, so thrilled to talk to you. Robin Roberts and I were just talking about this movie. She thought you were amazing playing Rick macci and I've done a lot of reading on it. It sounds like you were very attracted to this role. It was personal for you. Absolutely. Look, you know I think this movie really explores the full spectrum of what youth sports can be from toxic to sort of sublimely beautiful. There's nothing more in the world more important to me than my kids and raising my kids and I feel like this is just this sort of beautiful meditation on family and the power of family and the power so I'm grateful I got to be part of it. You nailed it. Rick for anybody who doesn't know yet was the girls' coach. I know that you didn't have a ton of tennis experience. I want to talk to you about that but first I want everybody to take a look at your character when Venus confronts Rick. Here it is. I want to play. Sweetheart, you're preaching to the choir, okay. Do you think I'm ready. I know you're ready. Willing you talk to my dad? Sweetheart, look -- Come on, Rick. You're trying to feed me to the wolves. I've been down this road -- Just talk to him, please. Please. All right, all right, all right. Is that a yes? It's that face. It's your face. It's like -- give me the face. So, yes, yes, all right, all right, all right. Oh, boy, here we go. So that's Venus trying to convince Rick to tell her dad she wants to play in a pro tournament, correct? That's exactly right. Yep. And what is your experience with tennis before the film and I know now you like me and like robin have become a bit of a tennis junkie, I understand. Yeah, you know, I didn't play at all beforehand but, you know, look, I played sports in high school and in college, the director ray green also played. It was really important to get the tennis right and so I was really grateful I got to train at a place called the wheel tennis academy in ojai where I live. I trained in playing tennis but they let me coach. I dot to top this top 50 junior nationalist, run drills, get into the vocabulary a coaching, and I'm really grateful for that and I think we got the tennis right. I think that's going to be important to the tennis community. How helpful was it to not only talk to Serena but to be able to talk to the man that you play? Look, a lot of fun. Everybody who talked about Rick macci including Serena, the first thing they said is, you know, it was among the funnest times in their life. Just playing for Rick was fun. So, look, again, as an athlete I have so much love and gratitude for those coaches that I had that had this pure unadulterated love for the game so I just wanted to keep these amazing young women who played these roles, I wanted to keep them laughing, keep it fun and, you know, with the bowl cut and mustache and short-shorts, it was fun to keep it fun. You really do become Rick macci. You do a great job. Will Smith is just incredible in the film as well as well as the two young girls playing Venus and Serena. We thank you so much for joining us. Everybody should see "King Richard." It is a great movie and as you said at the core it's about family and so we thank you so much. "King Richard," everybody, opens in theaters on Friday and will be available to stream on HBO max.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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