In the sports rom-com Challengers next season, Josh OConnor plays Patrick, an aging tennis player, who must face Mike Faists Art Donaldson in a pro tournament. As a tennis player, OConnor modeled his Challengers character after the most polarizing professional athlete in the sport, Nick Kyrgios.
That was a tennis component of which I think all of us had to go deep, OConnor told his co-star Zendaya during a VMan interview. I really liked to see what the players are doing and what they want to be doing. One of my favourite characters was [Nick] Kyrgios, who had such a fiery temper. In fact, his mood can be changed by the dime. So watch him really helped me.
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OConnor underwent a precondition for the physicality of the job. Although hard, OConnor credits his discussions with the director for understanding the importance of physicality.
The big thing about physicality is that I give Luke credit on that, OConnor said. But if you are not a good person, you have much less confidence in yourself. I believe this is certainly a thing. The only thing that we did was we did all that training.
What are you supposed to expect in challenges?
Zendaya congratulates the champions on his decision to replace his former tennis player Tashi, who threw an injured injury. She guides her Grand Slam Champion Art (Faist) in a match with her former lover, Patrick (OConnor).
The tennis player, now called Tashi (Zendaya) has brought her husband, Art (Mike Faist), and made him a world-famous grand slam champion, the official joke reads. To get him out of his recent losing streak, she makes him play the Challenger event that closes the lowest level of pro tournament where he is standing across the net from his former best friend and former boyfriend, Tashis (Josh OConnor).
Guadagnino directed the project Challengers to a script written by Justin Kuritzkes. Guadagnino and Zendaya produce alongside Rachel OConnor and Amy Pascal. When it was originally scheduled for the Venice Film Festival premiere and the September 2023 release date, MGM moved the Challengers to April 26th 2024, due to the SAG-AFTRA strike.