Every year at Sundance, the festival offers up a surprise screening and this year it was writer-director Stephen Merchant’s Fighting with My Family. The film is based on the experiences of real-life wrestler Paige, a.k.a. Saraya-Jade Bevis, and the 2012 documentary The Wrestlers: Fighting with My Family. As you’ve probably seen in the well-cut trailer, Paige comes from a family of wrestlers and the film does a great job showcasing where she came from and how hard she worked to land a professional contract with the WWE. Florence Pugh plays Paige, Nick Frost plays her father, Lena Headey her mother, Jack Lowden her brother, Vince Vaughn her WWE trainer, and Dwayne Johnson not only produced the film, but also plays himself.
Shortly after seeing the film, I sat down with Stephen Merchant, Nick Frost, Jack Lowden, Paige, Lena Headey, and Florence Pugh at the Collider studio at the Kia Supper Suite in Park City. They talked about being at Sundance, how they all got involved in the project, how the film changed in the editing room, Paige’s reaction to the finished film and her early conversations with Dwayne Johnson, how Paige’s dad wanted Ray Winstone to play him in the film, how Stephen likes to work on set and how he always forgets to compliment his actors, how close the film is to what actually happened, and so much more.
I’d also like to take a moment to give special thanks to our Collider Studio partner, the all new 2020 Kia Telluride, which was transporting filmmakers to our studio in celebration of the debut of the all new model, Kia’s first eight-passenger SUV that is several inches longer and wider than the brand’s award-winning Sorento.
Libations flowing at the Collider studio and parties were provided by LIFEWTR, Tequila Comisario, Sensi Tuscany Wines, Blue Moon Belgian White and Dragonfly Coffee Roasters. Food during the evening parties was provided by Greene St. Kitchen of Palms Casino Resort helmed by Chef Du Cuisine Lanny Chin. Brand partners also active during the day-part include mou, a luxury footwear and accessories line, and The Wild Immersion endorsed by Jane Goodall who was on-site with the world’s first ‘virtual reserve’.
Check out what they had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about. Fighting with My Family opens in limited release February 14th and everywhere February 22nd.
- Stephen talks about how he got involved in the story and why he wanted to make it.
- The cast talks about how they got involved and if they get nervous…
- Stephen talks about the audition process and how he runs it since he’s also an actor.
- The cast talks about their audition process for the film.
- Paige talks about how the project came together and the early conversations with Dwayne Johnson.
- What Stephen learned in the editing room and if he made any changes based on early screenings?
- How long did it take to shoot and then edit?
- What scene were they most excited to do and which scene made them nervous?
- When did Paige see the film for the first time and her reaction.
- What was it like for Stephen when Paige was watching it for the first time?
- How Paige’s dad wanted Ray Winstone to play him in the film.
- How does Stephen like to work on set and how he always forgets to compliment his actors.
How close is the film to what actually happened?
Here’s the official synopsis for Fighting with My Family:
Fighting with My Family is a heartwarming comedy based on the incredible true story of WWE Superstar Paige. Born into a tight-knit 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, cut-throat 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.