Q&A with King Richard star, Daniele Lawson
At just 18 years old, Daniele Lawson not only landed her first movie but an Oscar-nominated movie at that. The actress stars alongside Will Smith in King Richard, a film that follows the life of Richard Williams, the father and coach of famed tennis players Venus and Serena Williams. Lawson plays Isha Price, sister to the Williams sisters, and said the experience was life-changing. We sat down with Lawson for a Q&A about making it to the big screen and the even greater plans she has in store.
By Rachel Naud
King Richard is your first movie! What was that moment like for you when you first saw the movie?
When I first saw the film, my heart dropped. I’ve done many projects, but none of them have been as prestigious as this one. It was amazing to see how well everything came together and how proud I was to be a part of this movie. I was so happy and overjoyed to see myself up on the big screen, I could not help but be filled with excitement. King Richard will always have a special place in my heart as it’s the first of many incredible opportunities.
What was it like working with Will Smith? Did he give you any advice on-set?
Working with Mr. Will was such a life-changing experience. Every day on set, he was so incredibly kind and created such a positive work environment for everyone. He made sure it was a fun place to be at without even trying. Mr. Will is an amazing mentor, he taught us to be very selective with the projects we choose in the future. He advised us to be part of projects that are personal to us and that will impact the world. I believe King Richard is one of those incredibly inspiring films that is so relatable on so many levels. I am so grateful to have this as my first movie.
Tell us about your character, Isha Price. How did you get ready to play her?
My character, ‘Isha Price’, is the real-life sister to Venus and Serena Willaims. Isha is fun, sassy, and an intelligent woman. When preparing for this role, Ms.Isha and I had the pleasure of meeting on multiple occasions to really get to know each other. From those sit-downs, I learned how incredible she truly is. She was very helpful in helping me understand how to portray her younger self by telling me significant memories of her past. She told me all about her experiences growing up alongside her sisters, her favourite books, her favourite music, and what her life was like growing up in Compton at that time.
You have an impressive career of TV credits! How did you get started in acting?
I started dancing when I was two years old. One day, one of my mother’s friends suggested that I look into pursuing acting. Our family thought it was a good idea, so I started doing commercials. From there, I started acting in plays and finally transitioned to film and tv projects. Acting has always been a huge part of my life growing up and I enjoy every moment of it. Once I started, I have never looked back.
How did your parents help shape your career as a young actor?
My parents have always been supportive of my acting career. They made many sacrifices for me by putting so much time and effort into making sure I continue doing what I love. No matter what I need, they have always been there for me. I could never ask for more from them. Whether it’s taking me to auditions, helping me run lines, or filling out any paperwork, my parents have always been there. It is also the life lessons they have taught that have helped me stay grounded as an actress.
What advice would you give other teens interested in acting?
The advice I would give young inspiring teens interested in acting would be to work hard, stay positive, and never give up on their dreams. There are many ups and downs, but the outcome is worth it. It’s important to understand acting is a tough career choice, but if you love it, stick with it. It will all be worth it in the end.
What advice would you give their parents?
The advice I would give to their parents would be to support their kids’ dreams no matter what, be patient with them, and love them unconditionally.
What’s next for you?
Thankfully, I am staying very busy right now with some incredible things on the horizon. Unfortunately, I can’t speak about them right now. The best thing to do is follow me on my socials, as I am constantly posting about my upcoming projects. I cannot wait to reveal what they are to my fans.
What’s on your professional bucket list?
My dream is to star alongside Zendaya, Michael B. Jordan, or Denzel Washington in a movie or a hit television series. I think they are talented actors that I would be honored to work with and inspired to be one day.
You’re a big advocate for the homeless. Why is this cause so important for you?
The number one issue in LA is homelessness. It has grown to become a big problem in my community, and unfortunately, there is no escaping it as it is in my own backyard. The older I get, the more my heart breaks for the homeless population. As I see them on the streets, I want to help those people in need. I also encourage my friends and family to get involved in any way they can.
You also love fashion and makeup! What’s your go-to look this winter?
My go-to look this winter is casual. I usually sport a classic tee with my big black, shiny puffer coat that matches with some cargo pants and my favorite Uggs. For makeup, I like to use neutral tones with shiny gold eyeshadow and classic eyeliner. I like to keep my looks minimal with a touch of old-school class.