The "Total Divas" star, whose real name is Saraya-Jade Bevis, talked with TooFab about how her new biopic "Fighting With My Family" was first conceived as a motion picture and the story might just blow your mind.
One of the key scenes in the film -- and a life-changing moment for Paige -- was when The Rock tells her she's going to make her television debut and be on the WWE roster. However, one thing we didn't see in the movie was that this was Paige's first time meeting the WWE legend as well as the moment he told her he wanted to make a movie about her life. According to Paige, it all went down back at Wrestlemania 2014 when she received a text on her phone saying that "DJ" wanted to meet her.
"I got a text on my phone and it was like 'Hey, it's DJ' and I'm like, 'Who the hell is DJ and why are you texting my phone,'" Paige recalled. "And I remember texting and he said, 'It's Dwayne Johnson you idiot' and I was like, 'Oh my god. Dwayne Johnson just texted my phone right now this blows my mind' so he was like, 'Please come see me when you have a chance.'"
"So I went and saw him," she continued. "He said, 'Hey I watched your documentary...I watched it while up late one night while filming 'Fast and the Furious' and I couldn't sleep and I came across your family's documentary and I just loved it. It reminded me of my family, you guys are so close and it's a story that I would love to see told, that I would love to tell.' And I was like, 'What?' and he was like, 'Yeah I want to do a movie on you and your family.'"
"And he goes, 'Also just so you know, tomorrow you are going to be debuting on the main roster and become Divas champion,'" she concluded. "I just couldn't stop crying. It was uncontrollable snot bubbles everywhere, friggin eyelashes on the forehead. It was crazy... Then I made my debut and it was successful you know four and a half years later here we are."
She also shared the best advice The Rock ever gave her: "It's to stay humble because you always want people to work with you and hungry because you don't want to get complacent. You always want to have a passion for something so always set goals. So yeah, stay humble and hungry."
"And also be patient," she added. "Patience is a really big thing because sometimes it takes a lot longer to do some things than other things."
The film, which is currently in limited release in Los Angeles and New York (everywhere Feb. 22.), chronicles the real-life story of how Paige became a professional wrestler. "Fighting With My Family" follows Raya Knight (Paige), played by Florence Pugh, a young British girl, and her brother Zak Night (Zak Zodiac), played by Jack Lowden, who come from a rambunctious wrestling family and dream of becoming professional WWE stars. When a talent scout comes to England to recruit new members, only Paige gets a spot in the competitive training program and must leave her family behind to take on the cut-throat world of wrestling alone.
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The dramedy, which is written and directed by Stephen Merchant, is pure entertainment and will likely be enjoyed by both WWE fans and non-fans alike. If Paige's story isn't enough to get you to the theater, then maybe the incredible cast will. "Game of Thrones" star Lena Headey plays Paige's mother Julia Knight, while Nick Frost stars as her dad Ricky Knight. Vince Vaughan also has a small role as WWE talent scout Hugh. And The Rock, of course, plays himself and is an executive producer of the movie.
In Paige's opinion, not only did Pugh nail it, but the entire film as a whole was an accurate portrayal of her rise to fame, her struggles to get there and most of all, her wild family. "They've all seen it and you really can't make them up like they are all bad," Paige told TooFab. "Like it's crazy the way they portrayed them is so spot on there is not one part where I'm like, 'No that's not my family' like the ones who played my parents killed it."
"They were incredible I was like...you sound like my parents like this is so weird,'" she continued. "Lena [Headey] actually looks like my mom. And Nick does a great job portraying my dad, it just blows my mind."
Since most of the film is a "spot-on" portrayal of her life, we asked Paige if she really got her ring name from "Charmed" as suggested in the movie. Not only did she get her WWE name from the WB supernatural drama, but Paige is a full-on superfan and hopes to one day meet Rose McGowan, who played Paige Matthews in the series.
"OMG I love that show! [WWE] told me to come up with names," Paige said. "I had a couple names and then narrowed it down it was like Echo, Mara and then I was like I really like Paige and I told them because I got to choose -- Paige. I really like Paige because in 'Charmed' they show Paige with a butt chin like me and I loved that it's all named after that show."
In the midst of a massive cultural shift towards female empowerment, "Fighting With My Family" couldn't have come at a better time. The film goes above and beyond what it means to be a badass, powerful female. And Paige agrees.
"This movie it's not [an] average wrestling movie like you don't have to be a wrestling fan to enjoy this movie," Paige said. "It came at the right moment because the women are like in full force right now. They are very strong and beautiful."
After Paige retired from the ring, she went on to become the on-camera General Manager of SmackDown Live. However, the position has since been removed. When asked if she hopes to continue to work with WWE in the future, Paige said she would love to if the opportunity was right.
"Fighting With My Family" is in theaters in Los Angeles and New York now, everywhere Feb. 22.