Jan. 8, 2021

When Tennis Meets Hollywood

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Listen to how Ashley got involved with the movie 'Battle of the Sexes' with Emma Stone and Steve Carell.

Coach: Ashley Weinhold, current professional American tennis player.
Bio:Current professional American tennis player. Winner of Girls 18 National title in 2007. Highest singles WTA ranking was World Number 181 on October 10, 2011, and highest doubles rank was World Number 109 in June 2017. Achieved 17 doubles titles and 3 singles titles on the pro circuit and received six entries into the U.S. Open.
Residency: USA

Length: 3 min 44 sec
Theme: Motivation


Back in 2007, I won girls 18th National hardcourts with Billie Jean King in attendance. After the match, she took me out onto a practice court and we started working on my serve.

Let's fast forward 10 years later, and I'm in a major motion picture about her life in the historic Bobby Riggs match. It started when I was at a tournament down in San Diego a couple years ago, and a man walks onto my court and asked me if he can film some of my shots. And, I knew who this guy was, so I thought it was okay. And I was like, yeah, sure, go ahead, whatever you need, and he asked me to hit some slice backhands some volleys, serve, some forehands. And afterwards, he asked how tall I am, and how much I weigh, and all these things. I was like, Okay, this is interesting. And, then he tells me that he's looking for a body double to play Billie Jean King in an upcoming movie for Emma Stone. And, I'm like, Oh, that's really cool. I didn't really know what it looked like at the time. And, I thought that'd be a cool experience. So, after the tournament, he said, Come up to LA with me. And I'll let you meet the producers and directors, and we'll see if you're a good fit.

So after the tournament, I met up with Lornie, and we took the train up to LA on the way he's like, do you mind if I stop at Steve's house? And I was like Steve, who? And he's talking about Steve Carell. And I was like, okay, yes, please, let's stop at his house. So, we stopped at Steve's house, and we ended up you know, staying there for maybe three hours, he has a court in his house, I'm hitting tennis balls with him. And, everything's a blur. And then directors come over to his house, and I meet them. And, afterwards, we go to costume down the road, and I start trying on some outfits. And, in walks Emma Stone. So, I am meeting Steve Carrell and Emma Stone in one day, and this is amazing. So, Emma comes over, I meet Emma, we both put on similar outfits, take pictures next to each other and do all that kind of stuff. Um, after maybe an hour or so. I leave and they're like, okay, we'll call you back maybe in a few days and let you know if it worked out.

So few days later, turns out, Emma and I weren't similar enough in height and body type and style, which I actually noticed immediately when she walked in the door. But anyways, they offered me a regular role as a character of one of the original nine to play Kristy Pigeon. I didn't really have to think about that too long. They said it would take five to seven weeks out in LA. And I thought that would be a great opportunity and a once in a lifetime experience. So, I ended up taking that and went out to LA spent a month and a half out there filming the movie. I spent time with Emma Stone almost every day, met some really amazing people and I was actually blown away by how nice and genuine and down to earth everyone was.

So, we had the 'Battle of the Sexes' premiere in the fall of 2017 out in LA. My parents were able to come out for it and it was an incredible experience. Never in a million years would I have thought tennis would give me the opportunity to be in a movie alongside Emma Stone and Steve Carell.

So, you never know what's in store for you ahead.