How Emma Stone gained 15 pounds for Battle of the Sexes

Ben Arnold

At under five and a half foot, Emma Stone isn’t much of a colossus, but she did her damnedest to turn herself into one for new tennis movie ‘Battle of the Sexes’.

In the biopic, she plays the young Billie Jean King, the tennis ace and feminist icon who tussled with loud-mouthed showman Bobby Riggs in the 70s, playing their feted exhibition match in 1973.

Her trainer Jason Walsh has revealed how she managed to stack on a massive 15 pounds of muscle to give her the ‘psychological backing’ to play the athlete King.

“She took it seriously. She wanted to do the story justice,” Walsh told USA Today, adding that she is naturally ‘very petite and has a dancer’s body’.

“She needed to be resilient and to have the psyche of being really strong.

“It wasn’t like we were taking someone off the Taco Bell diet. But we added shakes into her diet.”

According to Walsh, she was hoofing down ‘hundreds of calories’ in shakes, taking a supplement called ashwagandha, made from a plant used in Indian Ayurdedic medicine and other protein powders.

(Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
(Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

There was also twice daily workout regimes, ‘300-pound hip thrusts’, deadlifting 185 pounds and doing press ups with 50 pounds of the chains on her back.

Stone plays opposite Steve Carell as Riggs in the movie, who, presumably, had rather less rigorous a training programme.

Having received great reviews, the movie, which also stars Sarah Silverman, Elisabeth Shue, Alan Cumming, and Andrea Riseborough, is due out in the UK on November 24.

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