Page Six: Emma Stone’s ‘Battle of the Sexes’ tennis skills ‘were subpar’


We haven’t talked much about Emma Stone lately, mostly because she’s been undercover for months, quietly working on Battle of the Sexes with Steve Carell. Battle of the Sexes is the true story of the campaign Billie Jean King went through in the 1970s to get female tennis players equal prize winnings. Billie Jean was riding the wave of the Women’s Rights Movement, and her argument was that female and male tennis players are doing the same job and they deserve equal prize money. She chose to do a one-on-one match with Bobby Riggs in 1973 to show the world that a woman can beat a man on the tennis court. And she won. And she became known as an international pioneer and advocate for women’s rights, pay equality, LGBT rights and tolerance. Incidentally, Riggs and King were quite close friends for many, many years, and they had a great comradery on and off the court.

So, Emma Stone is playing Billie Jean and Steve is playing Bobby Riggs. Emma trained for months to play Billie Jean, and she’s completely transformed her body. But according to Page Six, all of that training was for naught because Emma sucks on the court.

Emma Stone plays tennis icon Billie Jean King in the upcoming movie “Battle of the Sexes” — but sources told Page Six that Stone needed a body double for the sportier scenes, because her skills on the court were subpar. Even personal lessons from King herself couldn’t help Oscar nominee Stone find her game, a source said.

“Billie Jean herself tried to teach Emma to play tennis, but she was useless, so they got a body double,” said an insider, who added, “Steve Carell, who plays Riggs, is a great tennis player and did all of his action scenes.” But another source said: “There are always doubles in films that require a sport, skill or stunt. Emma did play tennis in the film. And so did her double. Steve also had a double.” Both Emma and Steve had their own pro tennis coaches prior to, and during, filming.

A spokeswoman for King confirmed the tennis legend gave Stone personal pointers, saying, “Billie Jean visited the set and had a fantastic time. She did give Emma some pointers on her serve and backhand. They just had a blast. Billie Jean had the most fun.” A representative for Fox Searchlight declined to comment.

[From Page Six]

I would love to hang out with Emma Stone and Billie Jean King together!!! That sounds like so much fun. As for Emma not being a great tennis player…? Okay? I mean, I doubt she’s about to go pro after five months of training too. But that was never the point. She’s supposed to look and act like Billie Jean and the rest will have clever editing.

Meanwhile, there’s a rumor that Emma found love on the set of Battle of the Sexes. According to Star Magazine, Emma has been quietly dating costar Austin Stowell. Stowell previously dated Nina Dobrev.


Photos courtesy of WENN, Fame/Flynet, Sony.

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23 Responses to “Page Six: Emma Stone’s ‘Battle of the Sexes’ tennis skills ‘were subpar’”

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  1. Jensies says:

    Ugh sexist BS. They were always going to use a body double, probably for both actors. Why put this out like Steve Carrell is the new Federer and Emma Stone sucks? It’s not necessary.

    • Soprana says:

      Women are always expected to accomplish everything with no help, while dudes get a free pass. Natalie Portman was supposed to transform into a prima ballerina for Black Swan, while
      nobody shamed Nikolaj Coster-Waldau for not being an expert horseman when a stuntman was CLEARLY used in that horse-riding-up-the-stairs scene in the most recent GOT.

    • Mia V. says:

      And her job is to pretend she is a tennis player or anyone believes Natalie Portman became a professional ballerina, Channing Tatum became a professional wrestler, Tom Cruise is that tall and able to jump from buildings?

  2. Rachel says:

    Is anyone really going to throw shade for this?? Professional athletes spend their entire lives training in their sport. They grow up playing it. I’m not going to expect anyone to play like a pro (or even the casual player) after 5 months. Obviously when they were casting, Emma’s acting ability was more important than her ability to play tennis.

    • Luca76 says:

      Yeah most pros start playing tennis around 6/7 or 8 if not younger of course she can’t just magically look like a pro.

  3. Rocío says:

    It’s a similar situation that Black Swan. Emma has to look the part (She does!) but the hardest scenes are played by a pro. No one expected Natalie Portman to dance. The same goes to Emma. Page Six is being just mean.

    • Soprana says:

      Actually, the studio tried to put out the tale that Natalie Portman had transformed herself into a world-class ballerina within six months, even though it was obvious that a stunt double had been used.

      • Rocío says:

        Yes, I remember! Natalie and the studio should have said the truth: She looks the part but can’t dance. It’s a film! People stress too much about it

      • Lucy2 says:

        There were many articles about the special effects used to put Natalie’s face on the dance double, a whole feature on the dvd, and the dancer was credited in the film. It’s not like it was some secret, I’ve never really understood why that was such a controversy.

  4. Bridget says:

    I hate Page Six.

  5. Sara says:

    on a shallow note I think Emma looks lovely as a brunette and is rocking those tennis outfits.

  6. lucy2 says:

    This is stupid, of course they used a skill double, almost all movies use a double for skills, stunts, etc. And why only mention Emma when Steve did the same?

  7. ClaireB says:

    I had no idea they were making a movie about this! It doesn’t seem to have done much for the sexism of the modern tennis game. But thanks for pointing out the weird sexism of the article’s focus: all Stone has to be able to do is fake playing tennis well enough to look realistic. She doesn’t actually have to play well!

  8. Wren33 says:

    Was she supposed to be awesome at tennis? What a weird tidbit. Henry actually didn’t fly for real when he played Superman!!!! Tom Cruise didn’t actually fly that fighter jet himself!!

  9. Rhiley says:

    John Carney must write for Page 6 now.

  10. wolf says:

    the reality is that Battle of sexes match is fixed.

  11. Tig says:

    Such a ridiculous article! I am glad Billie Jean King had a good time on set. She is such an icon. Can’t wait for this movie.

  12. Carol says:

    when I first heard that Emma Stone was going to play Billie Jean King, I thought that was awful casting. But she kind of does look like Bille Jean in the pic above so maybe it will be ok. I saw a documentary on this tennis match and it was riveting.

  13. detritus says:

    I would like to know how, as a pale girl, Emma Stone gets her face, arms, chest and everything else to be the same shade. It’s not even full on summer yet and my extremities do not match my pasty white tummy.

  14. Ange says:

    I would rather they used a stunt double than pretend the actor is awesome at the sport and I’ve thought that ever since seeing Madonna’s weak ass hitting in A League of Their Own lol.