FILM: FIGHTING WITH MY FAMILY
CAST: FLORENCE PUGH, LENA HEADEY, NICK FROST, JACK LOWDEN, VINCE VAUGHN
DIRECTOR: STEPHEN MERCHANT
‘Fighting with My Family’ is a “heart warming” comedy based on the true story of WWE Superstar Paige. Born into a tight-knit British wrestling family, Paige and her brother Zak are ecstatic when they get the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to try out for WWE. But when only Paige earns a spot in the competitive training program, she must leave her family and face this new, cutthroat world alone. Paige’s journey pushes her to dig deep, fight for her family, and ultimately prove to the world that what makes her different is the very thing that can make her a star.
The story behind ‘Fighting with My Family’ begins with a documentary – and an international motion picture megastar’s restless night. In 2012, Dwayne Johnson was filming ‘Fast and Furious 6’ in London. Unable to fall asleep, Johnson turned on the television and began watching a non-fiction film produced by the U.K.’s Channel 4. Entitled ‘The Wrestlers: Fighting with My Family’, the film followed a young woman, Saraya Bevis, who fought under the name “Paige,” and her outrageous, wrestling-obsessed family. Johnson, who founded and runs Seven Bucks Productions, a successful production company committed to making a diverse array of films and television shows, immediately recognized the potential in the documentary. “It had something special that resonated with me, and I thought it could be turned into a really compelling movie.”
Johnson’s connection to the film wasn’t surprising: like Paige, Johnson hails from a family of prominent wrestlers, including his father, grandfather and uncles, and his mother was the sport’s first female promoter. He saw elements of his own family’s dynamics – both the hardships and triumphs – in the Bevis clan.
A few months later, Johnson introduced himself to Paige at a WWE match in Arizona. He then broke some life-changing news to the young and largely untried wrestler: “I told her she was going to make her WWE debut under extraordinary circumstances,” Johnson hints with a smile.
Paige will never forget the fateful encounter: “I started sobbing uncontrollably because this was my dream becoming a reality,” she says. “Dwayne had to keep passing me tissues because I was such a mess.”
But the incredible news didn’t end with that disclosure. “Dwayne then told me that he had seen the documentary and thought it was a beautiful story that reminded him of his own family,” Paige continues, still incredulous at the sudden turn of events. “Then, he said, ‘I’m going to make a movie about it.’ And I’m, like, ‘Whaaat?’ It was all very overwhelming. Dwayne kept telling me to relax, but of course I couldn’t.”