‘Challengers’ Star Josh O’Connor Based His Character On This Australian Tennis Star

"I found him so entertaining and he's just a great character to watch."

‘Challengers’ Star Josh O’Connor Based His Character On This Australian Tennis Star

Image: DMARGE / Romer Macapuno

British actor Josh O’Connor has revealed that Australian tennis ace Nick Kyrgios served as the inspiration behind his steadfast performance as the gritty underdog Patrick in Challengers.

It felt like a cultural moment when the first trailer of the new Challengers movie dropped online last year; fans were sent in a unified frenzy after discovering one half of the internet’s favourite celebrity power couple, Zendaya, was involved in a raunchy three-way kiss with her male co-stars.

RELATED: Nick Kyrgios Announces Shock Return To Tennis In Emerging U.S. Tournament

Image: Getty

It was the first time seeing Zendaya in such a role, shifting away from the Marvel Cinematic Universe with an expected confidence to star as Tashi Duncan, a former pro who finds herself in between two professional tennis stars (Josh O’Connor and Mike Faist) who are competing for her affection, both on and off the court.

The film premiered last night in front of an at-capacity crowd in Sydney’s Market Theatre, marking the first event of a bustling international tour. At times, the atmosphere resembled that of a sports stadium rather than the storied venue in Sydney’s CBD, with the film’s deep techno score accentuated by enthusiastic whoops and applause during the movie’s many sultry scenes.

WATCH The Challengers trailer below.

The two male aces represent opposing sides of the same coin; Art Donaldson, a more reserved and sensitive character who finds himself in Tashi Duncan’s Fan Club, up against his best friend (and Tashi’s ex-boyfriend) Patrick Zweig, the bad boy of tennis fighting to stay in contention… and Josh O’Connor has revealed which star he has based his character on.

“I looked at a lot of tennis players – Kyrgios really caught my attention as he does with everyone. I found him so entertaining and he’s just a great character to watch,” Josh O’Connor revealed to DMARGE. “I watched a couple of videos of [Andy Murray] but really, he’s quite controlled and focused – and Patrick is not that.”

Challengers hits cinemas in Australia on 24 April 2024.