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Zac Efron Talks About His “Shocking” Physical Change for the “Iron Claw” Role

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Star Zac Efron tackled a challenging task when he brought the iconic and innovative pro-wrestler Kevin Von Erich to life on the big screen for his bulked-up part in The Iron Claw. Efron talked with ET’s Cassie DiLaura on his journey to becoming the renowned figure while walking the red carpet at the new wrestling biographical drama’s Dallas premiere on Wednesday at The Texas Theatre.

That guy, Kevin Von Erich right there, he really motivated me to get in shape for this movie,” said Efron, referring to the real-life character he played who was present at the premiere on Wednesday. “This movie’s a true story,”

“He had a truly special physicality that he brought to the ring every single day. It revolutionised wrestling,” said Efron. “I anticipated that would be the most difficult task for me to grasp and execute well. I therefore gave it everything I had.”

The Iron Claw follows the Von Erich family, led by patriarch and coach Fritz Von Erich (played by Mindhunter star Holt McCallany), and his sons — Kevin Von Erich (Efron), David (Dickinson), Kerry (Jeremy Allen White), and Mike (Stanley Simons).

The Von Erich brothers spent the majority of their careers in World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW), where they won multiple individual and tag team titles. The family was a pro-wrestling dynasty in the 1980s, who found both triumph and tragedy in and out of the ring.

Given that five of Fritz’s six sons would die before him, the brothers’ unfortunate outcomes caused many wrestling fans to mythologize the concept of the “Von Erich curse.”

Cinemas will screen The Iron Claw on December 22.

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