As a 29-year-old she was vaulted into superstardom in 1973 when she trounced ex-tennis champ and self-proclaimed "male chauvinist pig" Bobby Riggs in a match billed as the Battle of the Sexes. Sarah Silverman plays trailblazing women's tennis promoter Gladys Heldman; as King's fashion designer Ted Tingling, Alan Cumming offers sage advice and hints that King's travails will one day put her in position to publicly support a new LGBTQ community, which came true years later. Instead, McNamee plays her with a restrained grace that allows us to feel the humiliation of her loss to Riggs, and subsequent pride in Billie Jean's win, because we never stop being in touch with her humanity.
It's an age-old question, whether or not the man or the woman is the superior to the other. He was reportedly humble in defeat and even conceded that he had underestimated her.
But just as Little Miss Sunshine was about more than a girl's beauty pageant for co-directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, there's more going on in their take on the $100,000 winner-take-all competition between the oinker and the striver before 30,000 people in the Houston Astrodome and an estimated 90 million worldwide on TV.
So her parents helped her find the help she needed.
Actress Elisabeth Shue originally signed on as a tennis adviser for new movie Battle Of The Sexes.
The present proves, however, that many battles wage on for women. "You are on display and if you screw up, there are a lot of people who are witnessing that".
Of course, all that sound design would have been for naught if Stone and Riseborough weren't capable of ginning up instant chemistry.
"On our movie, there was a distinct effort to pay everyone equally", said Dayton.
FARIS: No, yeah. She'll say, you know, she is a forward-thinking person. "She's this sensual, kind of otherworldly creature".
Even Dayton admitted this: 'We love tennis, don't get me wrong. "But when you get on stage you feel fine". A romance between King and her female hairdresser serves little objective other than to point out that the tennis star - who was still married to lawyer and real estate broker Larry King during the events depicted in the film - is a lesbian, a point that seems unnecessary to the movie's central story and sometimes serves as more of a distraction.
"No pressure, by the way, this is the first thing she said to me", says Stone, delightedly needling King, sitting by her side during a recent interview at the US Open tennis tournament. But here's the catch: the way it unfold is just so hum-drum. But I think the best moment for me in this whole process was watching the movie at Telluride with her and an audience, and it was the beginning of her completely embracing the movie, and it's just the greatest thing. He depicts the triangle between Larry, Marilyn and Billie Jean with great sensitivity and an appreciation for the sacrifices both Larry and Marilyn are willing to make to advance Billie Jean's career and cause. And, as always, considering the fact that she was a "we" with the women on the tour and not an "I". "She's usually incredibly modest".
King was one of the best female tennis players for much of the '60s and '70s. Let's go.' He was shocked.
Opening next Friday, "Battle of the Sexes" delves into back stories that the public knew little about 44 years ago. "No one outside a very inner circle knew what was happening in Billie Jean's life during that time". These things keep coming up, and the issues that we're dealing with in the film are - I don't think they're ever going to actually be completely resolved.
Maybe if someone makes a movie about the 2016 election 34 years from now we'll have made more progress.