Playing the role of a professional wrestler can take a toll on both mind and body, as actor Zac Efron experienced firsthand while filming The Iron Claw. Efron confessed that the biggest injury he suffered during the intense action sequences was to his ego. Donning the iconic Speedo of pro wrestler Kevin Von Erich, Efron felt a mix of nerves and self-doubt when entering the Sportatorium before a massive crowd.
During a press conference following the film's premiere in Dallas, Texas, Efron candidly shared his thoughts from that moment. Expressing disbelief, he questioned how he found himself in such a situation. He referred to the 2012 film Magic Mike as the thought "This is Magic Mike" popped into his mind. Efron, 36, stars alongside Jeremy Allen White and Harris Dickinson, portraying the Von Erich brothers in the biographical sports film directed by Sean Durkin.
The Iron Claw follows the rise and fall of the renowned Von Erich wrestling dynasty, particularly their impact on the sport during the 1980s. The movie also sheds light on the family's struggles outside the ring, often referred to as the "Von Erich curse."
The experience of embodying a professional wrestler inspired Efron to hit the gym and transform his physique. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, he praised the physicality Kevin Von Erich brought to the ring and acknowledged the challenge of mastering it. Efron's dedication and hard work paid off as he immersed himself in the role.
At the press conference, the real-life Kevin Von Erich, now 66, commended the film's consultant and stunt wrestling coordinator, Chavo Guerrero, for preparing the actors for their roles. Efron expressed his newfound respect for the athleticism involved in professional wrestling, highlighting the commitment and sheer physical exertion required.
The Iron Claw not only showcases the Von Erich family's achievements but also delves into the battles and tragedies they faced outside the ring. The movie features a talented ensemble cast, including Maura Tierney, Lily James, and Stanley Simons.
Scheduled for release on December 22 in the United States and February 9, 2024, in the UK, The Iron Claw promises to provide audiences with an intimate look into the world of professional wrestling and the compelling story of the Von Erich family.