Emma Stone felt very "lucky" to play Billie Jean King in 'Battle of the Sexes'.
The 28-year-old actress portrays the US sporting legend in the upcoming biopic, which looks at the sporting ace's famous 1973 showdown with male player Bobby Riggs - played by Steve Carell - who had come out of retirement to play her in a challenge match, and she was privileged to get the chance to "dig into" the psyche of such an "inspirational" figure.
She said: "She's such an inspirational figure and getting to dig into her psyche at age 29 snf how she's shifted and grown over her life was an amazing thing to do, it was a very lucky thing."
And Emma admitted there is still a "long way to go" in closing the gender pay gap.
Speaking to Empire at a screening of the film at the London Film Festival on Saturday (07.10.17) night, she said: "Something Billie Jean talks about is she'd get a lot of people coming up to her and saying, 'Billie Jean, I watched the Battle of the Sexes - the original match in 73 - and I went to work the next day and asked for a raise.' 'Did you get it?'
"And they're like, 'Yeah because I asked for it, but you empowered me to ask for it.'
"She can speak more about that than I can, but there's still a long way to go."
Meanwhile, Emma's co-star, Andrea Riseborough, has hailed the film as being very "important" because of the ways the tennis legend pioneered social changes.
She said: "This is an important movie because Billie is an important person. What she did for social change was phenomenal."
And directors Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton insisted the film is more than just a "tennis movie".
Valerie said: "It wasn't a tennis movie, it's more about their personal stories, both Bobby Riggs' and Billie Jean King's. I think she was prepared for that and it's what she wanted."