Fighting With My Family tells the true story of how Paige went from the obscurity of amateur wrestling in Eastern England to one of the most acclaimed stars of the WWE.
Written and directed by The Office’s Stephen Merchant, Fighting With My Family is as hilarious as expected, while also being surprisingly heartfelt. Having already seen the English documentary that the film is based on, Nick Frost, who plays the father to Florence Pugh’s Paige, knew that Merchant could work wonders with the material.
But he also saw it as an opportunity to live out a childhood dream and become a wrestler, too.
Nick Frost talks Fighting With My Family
“I was a big wrestling fan. Ever since I was a kid. The Wide World Of Sports with Dicky Davies, Giant Haystacks and Big Daddy,” he tells Metro. “We actually trained for 2 weeks for this to become a proper wrestler. It actually made realize the similarity between acting and performing”
“If you trust the person you are there with you can perhaps leave a little bit of yourself there, physically and emotionally. There are little hints and tips to tell that person what you are going to do next. It is a performance, you are not there to actually kill each other. That is what UFC is for.”
Frost doesn’t have time for people that dismiss wrestling because it isn’t real. “It is allowed to not be real,” he declares. “The bit that isn’t real is the larger than life characters. But the bits that are real are the fact that people are incredible athletes, and without thinking they will put their bodies on the line to entertain mere mortals like us.”
This wasn’t the first time that Frost had partaken in wrestling, though. The Spaced and Hot Fuzz star admits that he and his frequent collaborator Simon Pegg had a period where they “were doing a lot of backyard wrestling.” One drunken wrestle saw Frost power-bomb Pegg through his bed, shattering it instantly.
“As I stood back up Simon pointed out that my thumb was hanging off,” adds Frost. “I relocated it twice and it kept on rolling out of the socket. So I taped it back into position. I always loved that feeling of having a good wrestle.”
But while wrestling obviously plays a key part in Fighting With My Family, Frost is keen to stress that at its core it “is a family film. A great family film. It just happens to have wrestling in it. That shouldn’t put anyone off. If you have a family that you can laugh with and have rows with and are noisy with then you’ll love it.”
And while Frost only met actually met Paige when Fighting With My Family premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, he is clearly enamored with her and the incredible journey that she and her family have gone through.
“She is so lovely, passionate and funny and completely normal. She has, they all have worked so hard. They have had a tough life. Seeing them succeed, it makes me happy. It is an utterly thankless task running something like the WAW in East Anglia.”
“That is how British wrestling began, really. Wrestling for hardly any money, knocking down the ring themselves, putting it back up, traveling around, that is all passion. There was not much money. Ricky and Julia and the kids do it because they love wrestling.”
Fighting With My Family is released February 14.