Hairstylist used over 200 beads to recreate the Williams sisters’ Signature Braids in ‘King Richard’

‘King Richard’ Official Promotional Movie Poster

The hair department head for the new Warner Bros. film “King Richard” revealed how much effort it took to accurately depict Venus and Serena Williams’ memorable beaded braids.

  • Stylist Carla Farmer told Allure that over 200 beads were used to recreate the William sisters’ hair.
  • Farmer said that it took three people around eight hours to create the wigs.
  • Venus and Serena personally approved the wigs during a visit to the film set, according to Farmer.

The film chronicles the Williams sisters’ childhood, as they are coached by their father Richard Williams, portrayed by Will Smith. Venus and Serena are played by Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton, respectively.

Serena Williams and Venus Williams in 1998.
Serena Williams and Venus Williams during the 1998 U.S. Open. (Photo by Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

In a November 17 interview with Allure’s Jihan Forbes, Carla Farmer described the process behind recreating the intricate hairstyles, explaining that “when you shoot a movie, you can’t necessarily put so many beads on the actor’s hair every day.”

She told the outlet that the team decided on a half wig for a more convenient, realistic look, and she helped make several versions of the wigs for the tennis doubles, camera doubles, and the actresses. 

“We didn’t count all the beads we used for the wigs, but there were way over 200 for each one,” Farmer told Allure. “We used a wire hook to put the beads on in the front, hooking on maybe two to three at a time. The wigs were really heavy.”

– Carla Farmer, Hairstylist for ‘King Richard’

Farmer added that it took a team of three people, including herself, around eight hours to create the looks. However, she told the outlet that the wigs are only shown towards the end of the movie. She told the outlet she recalled a day during which Venus and Serena visited the set, and “complimented us and said they really liked what we had done” upon seeing the wigs.

Actor Will Smith with actresses Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton.

Venus sported black and white beaded braids reminiscent of her childhood style for the November 14 premiere of “King Richard,” writing in a November 16 Instagram post that it was “a representation of my roots.”

“When @serenawilliams and I wore our iconic beads, we didn’t wear them to be different, we wore them because they were a part of our heritage”

– Venus Williams wrote in her Instagram post

Despite not realizing it at the time, Venus said that doing so “gave other African American women and children pride to wear their natural hair even before the natural hair movement sprouted decades later.”

‘King Richard’ stars Will Smith as the iconic athletes’ father, Richard Williams and their mother, Brandi Williams, is portrayed by actress Aunjanue Ellis. Venus and Serena Williams are depicted by the young and talented actresses – Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton.

The movie is currently in theaters now or watch on HBO Max through December 19 !!


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