Wrestling Inc.'s own Nick Hausman recently had the opportunity to talk to Vik Sharma, the composer for the upcoming film about WWE star Paige's life, Fighting With My Family. During the interview, Sharma would reveal whether or not people such as Paige and The Rock, who's a producer on the film, had any influence on the creative process of the movie. Sharma would also admit that he was unfamiliar with WWE and pro wrestling before he began composing for the film.
When describing the style of music Sharma wanted for the biopic, he explained how he strayed far from composers like Tchaikovsky & John Williams, who composed such major film franchises as Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Indiana Jones.
"It's not that kind of score, it wouldn't be right for Paige to do Tchaikovsky, to do John Williams, to do strings or anything like that," Sharma said. "We went another way entirely."
Sharma didn't hold much knowledge about pro wrestling and the WWE prior to working on Fighting With My Family. He was only familiar with WWE stars that transcended the WWE spotlight and made it to Hollywood films, people like John Cena, The Rock, and Dave Bautista. Sharma also argued that wrestling is not as big in the UK as it is in America.
"No, I didn't know that much about wrestling, about WWE," Sharma admitted. "All I knew was that it had this reputation for producing incredible talent, so I was aware of, obviously, Dwayne Johnson, and John Cena, and Dave Bautista, and was aware of their work and thought that they were all incredible, comedic talents and they had all emerged out of the WWE. So that was what I was aware of, but I didn't really - I mean, [wrestling is] not as big here as it is in the U.S., so, it's more difficult, the catch of it."
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson apparently didn't have much influence in the creative process of the film, if any at all. Sharma recounted how the movie started out with Rocky jumping on board as a producer. The Rock had seen a documentary about Paige's life and then approached Stephen Merchant to develop it in to what it is today. Sharma says that there was feedback given to Merchant but he ultimately had the final say on decisions concerning the film.
"The way it works is that, the chain of command is that I answer to the director, so, the director hired me," Sharma said. "What I understand about the birth of the project is, Dwayne Johnson saw this UK documentary, which is also called Fighting With My Family, which was about Paige and where she came from, and her family and her brother. And he then approached Stephen Merchant to write and direct it and he kinda empowered Stephen to make all creative decisions on it, so, obviously, there would be different screenings and they would all feedback, but that all kinda filtered back through Stephen Merchant, the director."
Sharma described Fighting With My Family as a coming of age story surrounding the life of WWE's Paige. He says there are indeed funny moments but also emotional scenes experienced as we follow Paige overcoming the various obstacles on the road to becoming a pro wrestler in WWE.
"This is really a coming of age story about Paige's beginnings, and about her doubt, and ultimate realization that - kind of all the things that she was made to feel bad about growing up, the fact that she was different, the fact that her family were wrestlers, the fact that she sat outside the mainstream," Sharma explained. "All of those things kind of ended up being the things that gave her strength and transformed her in to a celebrity. Comedy too but not necessarily appropriate when scoring those more emotional scenes."
Sharma has yet to actually meet Paige in person but says that he would have enjoyed the two getting together and discussing how she would have liked the music in the film. Sharma's primary focus is satisfying Merchant's creative interpretation of Paige's life, so complicating that idea with added opinions could have tainted the final product of the music for the film.
"The life of a composer is like a hermit, you just get sent a bunch of instructions that you then have to fulfill," Sharma said. "It obviously would have been awesome to meet with her and to discuss it but, ultimately, the movie is a creative interpretation of her life and written and directed by Stephen Merchant, so, I have to answer to him. And the music is supposed to evoke elements of her character which he wants to kinda delve in to and explore. So, ultimately, it would have been great and I do look forward to meeting her if I have the opportunity. It may have not necessarily been a good thing, I may have started wanting to please her rather than please the director and the producers of the movie."
The full interview with Sharma will be available on the WINCLY this week. Subscribe to Wrestling Inc. Audio on iTunes to get all the latest podcasts from Wrestling Inc as they are released.
Fighting With My Family is scheduled to premiere at Sundance today and release in theaters on Thursday, February 21st. The movie will premiere in New York and Los Angeles on Thursday, February 14.