Brad Blanks with Stephen Merchant On the 'Fighting with My Family' Red Carpet

February 15, 2019
Brad Blanks - WCBS-FM

(Photo: Devon Cass)


Fighting with My Family is the story of professional wrestler Paige Bevins and how she went from small town England to the bright lights of the WWE. This movie is so much more than a “sports movie” with Paige and her family’s story told in a refreshing way with comedy with plenty of emotion about a young girl trying to succeed. 

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has a small role in the movie and is also the producer. He was filming in the UK a few years back and saw a documentary on Paige and her family. He immediately bought the rights to the story, wanting to turn it into a film.   

I went along to the Essex Hotel in New York City to meet the movie’s writer and director, British comedy star, Stephen Merchant. I’ve been a huge fan of his since he co-created with Ricky Gervais, the global hit sitcom, The Office. I’m 6 foot 5, and Stephen is two inches taller than me. A well spoken Englishman, his ability to weave wry humor into the interview was hilarious, something he manages to pull off in the movie too. 

I admitted to him that I cried a little bit while watching this movie. He replied, “I’m so pleased that you did cry, my goal honestly was to make grown men cry….if you lure people in with the comedy, and then somewhere along the line you can turn that on them and you can really get them with the emotion. We did that as far back as THE OFFICE.”

Stephen Merchant is an unlikely guy to write and direct a Rock-endorsed wrestling movie. The Rock met Stephen when they both starred in the 2010 kids movie Tooth Fairy. I asked him how the friendship developed. Stephen went on to say, “Yes we did hit it off on Tooth Fairy and we’ve stayed in touch over the years. He saw a documentary about Paige and her family and he thought I want a British person to write this. He only knows two British people, me and Jason Statham. Statham can do 60 sit-ups in 30 seconds but I can do 40 words a minute.”

Fighting with My Family is in theaters now.

Check out the time The Rock counted out my pushups…

I’ve been looking for a personal trainer. I hope this guy can get me to where I’m going...... And never give up on me! Also, I think I have half an inch on him but his arms is the first body part I’ve seen on someone else that is bigger than my head. @therock #therock #dwaynejohnson #pushups #personaltrainer #legend #topguy #goodfella #huge

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