Stephen Merchant Discusses Fighting With My Family In The New PLAY Magazine

Fighting with my family

You already know him as a co-creator as some of telly’s finest shows, as a hilarious actor, and as a TV director of some renown. But now, get ready to see Stephen Merchant in a whole new light – as the director of one of your new favourite films!


Fighting With My Family, available to rent from July 8th on Virgin Movies from €4.99, is based on the true story of Paige, the British grappler who rose through the ranks to become a World Wrestling Entertainment superstar. Hilarious and heartfelt, there’s far more to it than in-ring action, though – including how her success impacted upon her family of lycra-clad hopefuls.


“It’s this crazy family of British wrestlers – mum, dad, the kids, they’re all wrestlers,” he explains. “The family dream is to get the kids to the WWE. The daughter Paige got signed, and off she went to Florida at the age of 18, to try to live this family dream.”


Funnily enough, Stephen was unaware of the real-life exploits of the Bevis family until he was made aware by another member of wrestling royalty.


“It started out life as a documentary – and it was spotted by Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. He saw that the story was a great, empowering, female, Rocky-style true-life underdog story at the core, and suggested I take a look.”


Just as excited to be a part of it was Florence Pugh, who portrays Paige in rare style. “I love her story of empowerment, as well as her feistiness and funkiness. I had to be part of this film. I remember instantly connecting with that family, and thinking ‘How has this not been made into a film before?”


There’s loads more about the film – from how Stephen connected with Paige’s working class roots to how he hopes it can pop people’s preconceptions about professional wrestling – in the brand new issue of PLAY Magazine.


So what are you waiting for?! Click here and read the whole interview right now!