Fighting With My Family director Stephen Merchant confessed he was not very interested in making a wrestling film until Dwayne Johnson asked him to and he couldn’t turn The Rock down.
The film follows the story of Norwich wrestler Saraya-Jade Bevis who fights in the US under the name Paige. It was based on a documentary which caught Johnson’s eye while he was filming in the UK.
The wrestler-turned-actor then approached Extras star Merchant about the project.
“He saw the documentary on Channel 4. He never misses Channel 4 – he always watches the Hollyoaks omnibus,” Merchant revealed at the premiere in London.
He added: “He really connected with the story, sent me the documentary because I knew The Rock and he wanted someone British to write the script.
“I didn’t know anything about wrestling and I wasn’t that interested.
“But I watched it because when The Rock asks you to do something you do it, and I was so won over by this family.”
Paige is played by Florence Pugh, who said she had a blast shooting the wrestling scenes.
“It was so much fun. You just get to jump in a ring and play-fight and thump someone and then they react to your thump,” she said.
“It was honestly like being an adult kid and then taking the bumps as painful but equally so satisfying when you get it right.
“It’s like complete athleticism and gymnastics all in one.
“And it’s tough, the lifestyle is really tough, so you have to respect that and you have to make sure that you are doing that world justice.”