Paige on her journey to WWE stardom, fighting misconceptions: 'I'm not hiding anything'

Saraya-Jade Bevis — known to fans as Paige — first entered the WWE ring when she was just 18 years old.

Born in Norwich, U.K., Bevis moved to the States to chase her life-long dream of being a Superstar (formerly known as a Diva), but was initially "homesick." Things quickly changed after she called her father, who told her to "stop crying." From there, Bevis "toughened" up and turned her dream into a reality.

The now 27-year-old has gone on to win the WWE Divas Championship twice, has taken home the NXT Women's Championship, manages a tag team on the SmackDown brand, has starred in the E! reality show, "Total Divas," as well as had a film made about her life starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson titled, "Fighting with My Family."

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Bevis spoke to Fox News about her journey to becoming a WWE Superstar, including how she triumphantly overcame difficult times in her personal life, as well as her new movie.

Fox News: What is “Fighting with My Family" about?

Paige: Well it's a movie based on my life coming up into the WWE and all the challenges that comes with it. And then obviously, it's about my family — come from humble beginnings and how outrageous and outlandish my family are. So I feel like everyone [will] enjoy it. And a lot of the story is pretty much just being completely and wholeheartedly yourself and making your dreams a reality.

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Fox News: How did you first get your start in the WWE?

Paige: Well WWE has two tours a year in Europe and then they have tryouts. So I had my first tryout when I was 17 and I was too young. So I came back when I was 18 and they gave me a chance. They liked the pale goth girl with the butt chin.

Fox News: Can you describe the moment when you realized you made it big?

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Paige: Oh my gosh. Like you don't even feel like you've made it big now. Like it's just a surreal thing. It doesn't feel like it. It's wonderful though. Just being a part of WWE, in general, is just obviously like a dream come true. And then having Dwayne [The Rock] Johnson make a movie on your life like that's really cool [and] winning the Divas Championship — it's just all these different things that happened throughout my career which I've been thankful for but it feels weird to say like, "I made it, you guys! I made it big."

Fox News: Was there ever a time in your career when you thought about putting your WWE "hat" down?

Paige: I've never felt like that in the WWE. When I first came over here to America, I was obviously very young and I was used to being inside my comfort zone and my bubble of England, so it was like a big culture shock and then it's just a very intimidating experience. So at first, I was very homesick and I was like, "Oh, I just want to go home." But my dad was like, "Don't call me if you going to be crying." So I was like, "OK." So I stopped calling my dad and then it kind of toughened me up a little bit. So that was the only time I was a little bit skeptical but I've never wanted to be like. "OK, I quit."

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Fox News: What do you think you would be doing if you weren't in the WWE?

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Paige: I feel like I'd be trying to be in the WWE, but also somewhere when it becomes like entertainment, somehow, like I wanted to go into acting and stuff like that — maybe now that I'm retired from the wrestling side of things, I can venture out into that.

Fox News: What’s a common misconception you feel the public still has about you?

Paige: Well I don't know. I feel like I'm very real all the time so I don't think I'm really holding anything back when it comes to certain things and I'm not hiding anything so I don't really know what the misconception would be. Maybe people should tell me what the misconception might be [laughs] ask me questions!

Fox News: How important has it been for the women of the WWE to be recognized as Superstars and not just Divas?

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Paige: Oh it's been a journey. Absolutely. Because it's not just, you know, it comes from both sides. Obviously, WWE back then, was kind of holding the women back when it came to the wrestling side of things, but also the fans were doing the same thing. Some fans, not all of them, but some ... [would] not take the women very seriously and usually just called us, "a toilet break" or  "a restroom break," while we're wrestling and then they would always do the wave during our matches or do really disrespectful things.

So it took us a lot of time to gain a lot of respect from a lot of peers and a lot of people that were watching us. And I definitely think we're killing it now. I mean we're the main event at WrestleMania. I mean, Hello! We're killing the game right now.

Fox News: Looking back, what was it about the WWE that appealed to you?

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Paige: I just had a lot of heroes in WWE. So I loved Stone Cold Steve Austin. Obviously, I love Dwayne Johnson "The Rock"... It was just if you wanted to be a wrestler that was like your goal — that championship was like your Oscar, you know? It was just one of those things. So it was always appealing to me because I just wanted to be a diva — is what they used to call it — I wanted to be a diva so bad. I wanted to be in the WWE. It just looked like a dream, like heaven, you know? Like a distant dream from far away. But we made it! We did it!

Fox News: What's the most memorable moment of your career?

Paige: Oh my gosh. I have a bunch, obviously getting signed to WWE. Becoming a Divas champion on my first day. Becoming the first-ever NXT women's champion. Getting the Divas Championship again on my birthday, which was a really nice little surprise. Meeting Stone Cold Steve Austin and then obviously, Dwayne Johnson telling me that I'm debuting, and also that he's going to be doing a movie on me.

Fox News: How did you end up with this signature look you have today?

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Paige: I was always like this. So a lot more emo, I feel like back in the day. Everyone goes through those stages. Small eyebrows. I had a lot more piercings, but I was still very pale. But yeah, I tried to conform with the WWE. I got a spray tan. I did dye my hair light, not as blonde as it was in the movie obviously my hair would fall out, but it was very light and I did take out all my piercings and wore more color, and you could just tell I was so uncomfortable and I was like, "This is not me whatsoever."

And I remember Dusty Rhodes was the one who was like, "Baby. You're my porcelain princess. What the f--k are you doing?" Cussing up a storm. I'm like, I'm sorry." He was like, "No. This is you." I remember going to the beach and accidentally getting like a little tan and he was, "No, baby girl, no. You're pale. You're mysterious. You're the 'Girl With The Dragon Tattoo'"  — is what he always used to say. And so yeah, that's how I just kept being myself and it worked! I'm just like an elevated version in the ring.

Fox News: For fans who don't know this, you've retired from wrestling.

Paige: Yeah, so I sustained an injury. It's just wear-and-tear from wrestling for so long, and since I was so young, so it happened. And so I end up having surgery, having three screws put in my neck, and then I came back after a year and I just tried to do stuff that I wasn't able to do anymore and I didn't realize that until obviously after the fact. So I end up getting an injury into my neck again and then, unfortunately, I had to retire for injuries so I don't get paralyzed.

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But it's all looking up! Because WWE was just like, "Yeah but we want to keep you around! You can't get out of here that easy." So they ended let me do the general manager role which was so fun, and then they ended up giving me the opportunity to be a manager for two female Superstars Kairi Sane and Asuka. So I'm enjoying life. New chapter.

Fox News: Back in February, you described to the New York Post how much you struggled with the fact that your privacy was violated after sex tapes were illegally posted online by hackers. How did you cope?

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Paige:  Obviously, it's very hard to stay positive when you have something that's so publicly humiliating to yourself and then still to this day, this was over two years ago now. I did suffer a lot. I did. Just emotionally because at the time I was having my neck surgery too, and I had stress-induced anorexia. I lost all my hair. I had some really horrible thoughts. I had to go to therapy. It took me a while to get over because obviously, no woman wants to go through that.

But at the same time, I was like, "OK I can't change this." Same with me not being able to wrestle. I can't change this. There's nothing I can do about it. So why am I still dwelling on it? It happened. People have seen it. Like I can use this to help others now, you know? And it really does because I don't look at it as a mistake. Everyone's done that kind of stuff and it happened a long time ago when I was young and dumb and stuff happens and then you know, unfortunately it was released but I'm just like, "Hey, it is what it is. I can't change it."

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And so now I'm going with the Bella Twins and we went to a woman's hostel place, with kids and stuff, like I get to go talk to kids about it, I'm just like, "Hey, like never do something when it comes to your phones." Because like this is a different world nowadays. Like things come out and things happen so I was like, "You have to think twice before you make the same kind of mistake as I did." So now I get to use it and utilize it on a different platform and help others with it. So I'm like it's a horrible thing that happened, but now it's a tool to help the next generation of people you know?

Fox News: You also discussed reaching rock bottom, at one point, with depression. How did you overcome it and when did you realize that you need to move forward and get help?

Paige: Honestly, you surround yourself with toxic people, then that doesn't really help either. So what I did because I remember walking through a supermarket and I was, I looked terrible because you know I was, I unfortunately did, I'm very open about this and I love to talk about it just because again it helps others — but I was, I unfortunately, popped the drug test in WWE because I was just going through a bad stage in my life and I was just so depressed that I just turned to something else you know?

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And I remember going through a supermarket and I looked terrible. Like I had no makeup on. My hair was matted and falling out and I was really skinny. Like extremely skinny to the point where like you could see that I was very sick. But there was a little girl that came up to me and she looked at me like I was just the queen of everything because she doesn't go on social media. She doesn't understand it yet but she's looking up at me, and she was like, "Paige I want to be like you one day." And I was like, "What the hell am I doing?" For some reason like you're in this bubble and then you just like click out of it and you're just like, "What the hell am I doing?"

I didn't listen to my family, my friends. My work was trying to help me, constantly trying to reach out, and I completely just blocked it all out because I was in such a bad place, and this little girl just managed to make me snap out of it. I was like, "Wow I'm a role model and what I'm doing right now is not very role model-esque." So I was like I want to have this little girl look at me in the future and be like, "Wow, look what she overcame. Not what overcame her." So I was just like OK. After that I was like, "I need to get my life together." So I did. I reached out to WWE and they gave me all the help that I needed when it came to therapy with everything you know emotionally and substance and everything — they helped me and that was like a few years ago.

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So now I feel like I'm stronger than ever. And yeah. It was all thanks to that little girl just looking at me and just being like, "You're it for me. Please don't mess up your life." So yeah, it's the fans man who did it. They did it. Yeah, a couple of years later here we are! Getting the movie out there! Feeling healthy and happy!

Fox News: What do you hope audiences will get from your life story?

Paige: I just hope that it's a relatable story and it helps them in a way where you know just because my story from before the whole downfall for you it was just about being completely yourself and I just want people to remain that like never conform to anyone else like being yourself is completely and utterly your superpower and you should embrace it. And then also my brother's story, which I think is just as wonderful, is you shouldn't measure your success on how famous you are or how many Instagram followers you have or how many people are taking pictures of you.

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My brother's success is measured on the fact that he's teaching disabled kids how to wrestle, like that's incredible. He wanted to have a family and he now has two kids and is married to the girl that he was in the movie with. He's doing such wonderful things and he's not famous because of it, and that's OK. That's successful. And I just love that side of the things where people can look at it and be like, "OK I don't have to be like this Instagram model at Coachella, you know, with like 200K followers. I can be like Zach who has a couple of hundred followers and is living his best life.

"Fighting with My Family" is available now on Blu-Ray/DVD and On-Demand.