Nick Frost was born for role in ‘Fighting With My Family’

Nick Frost, left, stars as wrestling patriarch Ricky Knight in "Fighting With My Family."  Photo Credit: Robert Viglasky

The “Hot Fuzz” star plays the father of WWE star Paige in the wrestling biopic.

Nick Frost, left, stars as wrestling patriarch Ricky Knight in "Fighting With My Family." 
Nick Frost, left, stars as wrestling patriarch Ricky Knight in "Fighting With My Family."  Photo Credit: David Handschuh /David Handschuh

One thing you’ll quickly discover watching the upcoming biopic “Fighting with my Family” about WWE star Paige is that Nick Frost is perfectly cast as Ricky Knight, patriarch of this British wrestling family.

“I think out of anything I’ve done, I was born to play a wrestler, I guess,” the 46-year-old actor says. “There aren’t many actors in the Venn diagram of funny and can take a punch, a head lock, you know. I think it’s me and Kevin James, and I don’t think they could afford Kevin James."

Frost — a viscously funny actor best known for his roles alongside Simon Pegg in “Shaun of the Dead,” “Hot Fuzz” and “The World’s End” — rocks a mohawk and a bushy beard as Paige’s dad.

amNewYork spoke with Frost about the film, out Friday.

Do you think you could take Kevin James in a fight?

Oh, I don’t know. I think it would make a lot of money on the internet, him and me rolling around topless. I don’t think we’d even need to fight.

What is your background with wrestling? Do you watch it?

I haven’t watched it for a while actually. I have a 7-year-old. … He’s rowdy enough as it is and rambunctious enough. I don’t necessarily want him wrapping a chair around my head. He might. I watched it. I was a big fan of watching British wrestling in the late ’70s and early ’80s. … It was only in the mid to late ’90s that we started getting satellite and cable and more American TV shows, and I started to see the early WWE — the Ultimate Warrior and Tatanka, Hulk Hogan. And then it reignited again, my love for that soap opera … we watched them, me and Simon Pegg, all of my mates .

Did you guys ever tussle?

I had broken my thumb really badly wrestling. I did like a power bomb on Simon Pegg on my bed. It broke my bed to absolute smithereens. And I stood up my thumb was hanging off. So, yeah, I was fairly drunk, so I gaffer taped it into position and went to sleep and woke up at 5 a.m. My hand was so swollen that essentially pieces of meat were sticking through the gaffer tape.

That sounds gruesome. How did you feel about the sweet mohawk you had here?

Oh, my god I loved it. I rocked it for about four months. It was great because no one talked to me in pubs. No one would approach me for photographs in airports.

Will you ever go back to it?

Well, I look exactly like that now, except I’ve got a number zero haircut right now and it’s just like the little bit on top that I’m missing, which potentially I could make from a piece of carpet or piece of felt. Lay it on top when I need to.

Florence Pugh, who plays Paige, is so key to this film. How do you think she did as your daughter?

They screened [the film] for me like a few months ago so I could see where we were before we started doing press, so I could talk more eloquently about the film. I actually cried a bit. I felt like I was watching Paige, I was watching her story. I cried a bit for the same reason I cried at the end of “Karate Kid” because he deserves it. He deserves to win. It’s nice that the underdog wins. … I think Florence did such a good job. … It’s terrific to watch. I didn’t know if I was cheering for Florence or if I was cheering for Paige at one point.

Scott A. Rosenberg