×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Listen: WWE’s Paige Says ‘Fighting With My Family’ Resonates Beyond Wrestling

PLAYBACK is a Variety / iHeartRadio podcast bringing you conversations with the talents behind many of today’s hottest films. New episodes air every Thursday.

Saraya-Jade Bevis, better known as WWE Superstar Paige, has seen her life transformed into the new film “Fighting With My Family,” produced by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Written and directed by Stephen Merchant (“The Office”), the movie — which began as a short documentary — details Paige’s dream to become a professional wrestler, inviting the viewer into a universal tale of struggle.

Listen to this week’s episode of “Playback” below. New episodes air every Thursday.

Click here for more episodes of “Playback.”

“I never thought it would blow up the way it has,” Paige says of the film. “I like that it opens up doors for other people that aren’t wrestling fans and have no idea who me and my family are, they get to see this young girl and her struggle to get to her dreams. I think it resonates with a lot of people. Everyone in their life has felt like an underdog or felt insecure. Some people have come from humble beginnings and have just been chasing this dream.”

It’s been a bittersweet journey for Paige, though. Early last year the 26-year-old was forced to retire due to an injury that occurred in the ring. After more than a decade of putting her body through the wear and tear of a professional wrestling career, she transitioned to the role of an on-air personality for WWE throughout the rest of 2018 and says she has almost certainly wrestled her last match. So promoting this film has been a touch difficult, she admits.

“Yeah, of course. I look at the movie and I’m looking at this girl and my story and seeing me chasing this dream and then becoming Divas champion,” she says. “And then all of a sudden a [women’s wrestling] revolution is starting — it’s very surreal because it’s like, ‘Well, damn, I’m not doing that anymore.’ If people see a sequel, it would be a pretty interesting sequel, I’ll tell you that! If there was one, they would see I didn’t fail.”

Regarding the women’s revolution in wrestling, the conversation naturally shifts to the squared circle and particularly the current march to WrestleMania 35 in April. The main event is still up in the air but it could very well be Becky Lynch versus Rhonda Rousey, with Charlotte Flair thrown in for good measure. It would mark the first time women have ever headlined WWE’s premier annual showcase. Does that mean it’s mission accomplished or is there still room for improvement with this revolution?

“Nah, I think the girls are killing it,” Paige says. “They’re stealing the show every Raw and SmackDown. You tune in to watch the females at this point, especially Becky. I mean, she is incredible. I’ve known her since I was like 12 years old and she’s really had a spark lit under her butt. She’s doing amazing things … I like the story and dynamic of where they’re going with Charlotte being Vince [McMahon]’s, like, princess who gets anything she wants. Then you have Becky, who is like the Stone Cold [Steve Austin-type], who’s against all authority and does her own thing. And obviously you’ve got Rhonda, who’s the champ. So it’s just a great dynamic with the three.”

For more, including Paige’s thoughts on expanding outside of wrestling and looking up to Johnson, who has established himself as a massive global brand, listen to the latest episode of “Playback” via the streaming link below.

iHeartRadio
Hear more episodes of “Playback” at iHeartRadio.
– Listen at Spotify.
– Subscribe via iTunes.

WWE Superstar Paige photographed exclusively for the Variety Playback podcast.
Dan Doperalski for Variety

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Zeroville

    Film Review: 'Zeroville'

    I’m tired of hearing how some novels are “impossible to adapt.” Balderdash! Just because some books don’t lend themselves to being translated from page to screen doesn’t mean that the attempt ought not to be made. Just ask James Franco, who’s shown a speed freak’s determination to tackle some of the unlikeliest literary adaptations of [...]

  • Red Penguins review

    Toronto Film Review: 'Red Penguins'

    “Red Penguins” is a cautionary tale with particular resonance in the context of our current bizarre intertwining with Russia, the country that interfered in the last U.S. presidential election and is led by the POTUS’ apparent BFF. This wild tale of attempted transnational commerce just after the demise of the USSR in the 1990s chronicles [...]

  • Danny Ramirez'On My Block' TV show

    Danny Ramirez to Star in Film Adaptation of 'Root Letter' Video Game (EXCLUSIVE)

    An English-language film adaptation of Japanese video game “Root Letter,” starring Danny Ramirez, is in production in the U.S. through Akatsuki Entertainment USA. Besides Ramirez (“Top Gun: Maverick,” “Assassination Nation”), the film stars Keana Marie (“Huge in France,” “Live in Pieces”) and Lydia Hearst (“The Haunting of Sharon Tate,” “Z Nation”). With a screenplay by [...]

  • Screen writer Beau WillimonMary Queen of

    Beau Willimon Re-Elected as President of Writers Guild of America East

    Beau Willimon, the playwright and showrunner who launched Netflix’s “House of Cards,” has been re-elected without opposition to a two-year term as president of the Writers Guild of America East. Willimon also ran unopposed in 2017 to succeed Michael Winship. Kathy McGee was elected to the vice president slot over Phil Pilato. Secretary-treasurer Bob Schneider [...]

  • Running With the Devil review

    Film Review: 'Running With the Devil'

    A retired Navy SEAL who for a time was a military advisor on the Colombian drug trade, Jason Cabell conceived his first solo feature as writer-director to tell the story of that particular commerce “from the point of view of the drugs.” The result isn’t exactly a docudrama indictment like “Traffic,” a thriller a la [...]

  • Sweetheart review

    Blumhouse's 'Sweetheart' Sets October Digital Release From Universal (EXCLUSIVE)

    After making waves at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, the Blumhouse project “Sweetheart” is set to hit digital and on demand platforms. Universal Pictures Home Entertainment will offer the film on all major streaming hubs and paid video on demand come Oct. 22, unleashing the creature feature which stars Kiersey Clemons in a harrowing tale [...]

  • Bob OdenkirkAFI Awards Luncheon, Los Angeles,

    Bob Odenkirk to Star in Thriller 'Nobody'

    “Better Call Saul” star Bob Odenkirk has signed on to star in the thriller “Nobody.” The Universal pic follows Hutch Mansell (Odenkirk), a suburban dad, overlooked husband, nothing neighbor — a “nobody.” When two thieves break into his home one night, Hutch’s unknown long-simmering rage is ignited and propels him on a brutal path that [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content