In interviews conducted for the Herald, I hear from the writer/director, two of the stars, and the subject of the new true-life wrestling comedy produced by Dwayne Johnson.
The historic city of Norwich, England is about as far away from the thunderous theatrics of World Wrestling Entertainment professional wrestling as it gets. But these two contrasting worlds collide in the new wrestling-centric comedy Fighting With My Family, the result of an equally unlikely pairing between English actor/film-maker Stephen Merchant (co-creator of The Office) and WWE legend/global superstar Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
Merchant wrote and directed the film, and produced it alongside Johnson, who recruited Merchant for the job. Johnson also shows up on screen, playing himself.
Fighting With My Family was inspired by a British TV documentary that detailed the unique back story of WWE superstar Paige (played in the film by Florence Pugh), who grew up in a family of hard-scrabble wrestlers in Norwich.
“[Johnson] was in England filming Fast and Furious 6,” Merchant tells TimeOut. “He couldn’t sleep one night, the documentary came on TV, and he leaned in. I think coming from a wrestling family himself, he related to them and responded to them.”