WWE Superstar Paige’s story is so much more than just a soap opera dressed in spandex and glitter.
The Knockturnal had a blast speaking with Paige about her endless love for her “batshit crazy” family, what it takes to become a WWE wrestler, and how she ended up at Snoop Dogg’s pad.
Fighting With My Family opens in Los Angeles and New York on February 14, 2019, and everywhere on February 22, 2019.
The Knockturnal: What does it feel like having both a documentary and biopic made about you by 26?
Paige: When it comes to documentaries, I am so used to them growing up because my parents just wanted to be in front of the camera all the time. So we had so many documentaries done–– to the point where I was a tiny baby in the bath and my mom is bathing me. The movie side of things is just so bizarre and very surreal because, obviously, I never thought that at 26 I would be talking to you about a movie based on my life; especially when a producer like Dwayne the Rock Johnson and a writer-director like Stephen Merchant…it just blew my mind.
The Knockturnal: You totally had an all-star team behind this project.
Paige: Yeah! I was like, “What the hell, look at this team we have going on here. This is a messed-up Brady Bunch in the best way.” So, yeah, I feel very fortunate and very happy, and it is just incredible.
The Knockturnal: I can only imagine that watching Fighting With My Family for the first time was a nerve-wracking experience. What was going through your head?
Paige: I had just come back from an injury and did rehab at the performance center, and–– this was a year ago–– Stephen came and was like, “Look, it is not finished yet, but I have the movie.” Then, he said, “I can’t sit in this room and watch it with you.” So I am just sitting by myself in a room like this, you know, and he was like, “I’m going to sign out here, and you text me when you are done.” I put it on, and I was just crying the whole time–– it was so insane. I had to watch it again a couple months later, you know, to let it really sink in, and it was just so beautifully done–– and so true-to-story! It was 95% true.
The Knockturnal: I remember watching the documentary beforehand; then the movie, and the resemblance between your family and the actors is uncanny. I think they really captured everyone in your family.
Paige: Especially my parents, dude. They are batshit crazy, honestly! But my mom should be here today–– she is flying in.
The Knockturnal: I interviewed Lena before and learned that they are meeting for the first time this evening. That’s crazy!
Paige: Yeah, it is so funny. I’m just like, “Good luck with that one. You know, the first thing she’ll try to do is dry-hump you, or she’ll grab your tits. One of those.”
The Knockturnal: I guess those are just signs of love.
Paige: Exactly, that is how my mom shows appreciation and love to you. They have also seen it and loved it, but my dad–– the first thing he thought about was how he wanted Ray Winston to play him, and so when I told him Nick Frost was going to do it, he was like, “Who is Nick Frost?!” And I’m like, “Dad, he is incredible! An incredible actor.” My dad is old-school: he likes Zulu, he likes Laurel and Hardy, he likes old-school stuff. And so, when he saw it, he said, “Yeah, it is actually pretty good.” And I said, “Dad, he did you to a tee. He was perfect.” My dad loves him now, like loves him.
The Knockturnal: Is there something special about professional wrestling that differentiates it from every other sport–– and others source of entertainment?
Paige: Well, this one has the theatrics with it–– it is soap opera in spandex. I love it though. I mean, if it is just wrestling consistently, people are not going to keep watching, but a lot of people watch TV for the storylines, right? And so, that is why every other sport is seasonal because if you watch it all the time, it isn’t going to be that exciting. Where with the WWE, we don’t have any off-seasons because we have stories and that keeps people interested.
The Knockturnal: How are you crafting that story to begin with?
Paige: We have a writing team and they figure out what we want. They give us a story and then we have to make it into a match. We like to plan matches out, you know, like in a movie where there is a bad guy and a good guy, and maybe a chase scene as well–– that is how a match is structured too.
The Knockturnal: At the end of the movie, it mentions that you were one of the WWE wrestlers to help jumpstart the “Diva’s Revolution.” Within and beyond, what do you believe media companies do to ensure that women are seen and heard?
Paige: Well, right now they are really doing an incredible job with it, and the world is really is doing the same thing. This movie really came out at the right time–– it is the era of the female. Female athletes are such a big deal right now. You look at Ronda Rousey who is now in the WWE, and she made her mark in UFC and was the main event in that. Now, she is the main event in the WWE, so right now people are doing a really good job. I think it should transition naturally, instead of forcing it down people’s throats.
The Knockturnal: Were there any moments in your real life story that wish made it into the film?
Paige: I think it’s good for now, although a sequel would be very interesting. I always say that, but there is only so much you can put into a movie before it gets too long. It was originally a lot longer, but they had to cut, you know because it was over two hours.
The Knockturnal: What did it mean to have your family alongside your journey to the WWE?
Paige: I am very fortunate with the family I have. They are batshit crazy, but they are my batshit crazy family, and I love them for it. They are so supportive and so loyal, and I am so happy they are getting the exposure they always wanted, but that they also deserve.
The Knockturnal: What would you say to the young girls–– who might not have the same background or infrastructure you had–– dreaming of becoming the next Diva champion?
Paige: Well, I would say the same thing that Dwayne said to me, which is “Stay humble and hungry.” Stay humble because you want people to work with you, and stay hungry because you always want to set goals and never be complacent. Also, be patient, because it takes a long time–– and tuck your chin because I have banged my head so many times because I didn’t tuck it in properly. So, I always tell girls to do that. And always remain yourself too, always. Don’t change for anybody; it doesn’t work out that way.
The Knockturnal: Although the WWE is scripted entertainment, how does the idea of authenticity and being truly yourself get communicated through the T.V. screen?
Paige: People build characters and feel extremely comfortable with themselves–– anybody can really be anyone they want to be in the ring. There were some people that dressed up as a woman because that’s the way they felt comfortable. We had Hornswoggle dressed up like leprechaun, so you can do that kind of thing too. I like to do it as an elevated version of yourself. You can be anyone and be anything, but for me, I wanted to be an exaggerated version of myself.
The Knockturnal: What are you up to these days, and do you have plans for what is next?
Paige: I was hanging out with Snoop Dogg the other day.
The Knockturnal: Wait, what? You have to explain that!
Paige: Well, he wanted a screening of the movie, and he has a compound where he has a movie theater, so he invited a bunch of people and wanted me to come in and introduce the movie. But we were hanging out and he was so nice, and it was just so bizarre, but wanted to get that in there because it is hilarious to me.
I have a clothing store and online store, and also a best-selling makeup line at Hot Topic right now. I’m doing some stuff behind the scenes for the WWE too. I have goals set right now to be the next Dwayne and transition into that world.
The Knockturnal: Can you tell me a little more about what your family has been up to and what the WAW in Norwich has evolved into?
Paige: My dad’s company is getting more and more successful, which is wonderful. He has a big show in July at a huge football stadium in England, so he is really excited about that. That is all he is thinking about. The media–– I have to force him to go to media, and he is like “But what about my show?” And I’m like, “Dad, c’mon.” So he is doing really well. My mom comes over often because she is wrestling in America a lot. My brother, Zac, he has two kids now and he runs the family business. He is looking to go into acting and being doing a lot of that. My brother Roy has stayed out of prison for a long time, had three kids. Everyone is doing really wonderful, and this movie has really helped them get out of being complacent.