This past week Scannain was lucky enough to head along to the red carpet of Fighting with My Family at the Virgin Media Founded in 2003, the Dublin International Film Festival sets the agenda of the year with its programme of outstanding Irish and international film.. Attending this red carpet was the director himself, Stephen Merchant.
Born into a tight-knit wrestling family, Paige and her brother Zak are ecstatic when they get the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to try out for the WWE. But when only Paige earns a spot in the competitive training program, she must leave her loved ones behind and face this new cutthroat world alone. Paige’s journey pushes her to dig deep and ultimately prove to the world that what makes her different is the very thing that can make her a star.
Merchant was charming, funny and as we all suspected – quite tall.
Scannain: So Stephen when you were asked by Dwayne (Johnson) to write and direct Fighting with My Family what were the key elements you wanted to get across about Paige and her family?
Stephen Merchant: My feeling was that was the same thing I felt when I heard the story and I went and met the family. Start off laughing and by the end, you’re crying and not because I want you to think well that’s 90 minutes of my life wasted I want my money back. It’s because you go on this really emotional journey even when the family is telling you the story and I thought if we could capture that and get that on the screen that that element is something I want to see on screen. I love movies that move you emotionally and take you on an emotional journey. It’s not a tough movie to watch but there is emotion in it that I want people to feel.
Also how difficult for you was it to film that climatic and emotional scene for Paige? I don’t want to give anything away but it takes place at a pivotal moment in her career.
Well like any good sports film you have to build to a giant stadium scene and we had one hour to film after a real-life American wrestling match, there were 20,000 fans in the stadium. Dwayne came down and he was going to compare the event and I told him not to get carried away we only have an hour he said to me no problem, hopped on the ring and did twenty minutes on the mic and almost took all my shooting time, sucking up all the time – Can you smell what the Rock is cooking? Yes, we can smell what you’re cooking mate get out of the ring! Thankfully it turned out well in the end.
Check out our review and see if you too want to see Fighting with My Family.