Zac Efron and Jeremy Allen White bulked up big time for their roles in The Iron Claw as seen in the trailer. Efron looks unreal in the film and pushed his body to the limit to play Kevin Von Erich, a wrestling legend. White did the same, completely transforming his body to play Heavyweight Champion, and Kevin's brother, Kerry Von Erich. However, even with these incredible commitments to obtaining a wrestler’s physique, the real Kevin recently said that the two actors could never actually be real pro wrestlers for one unchangeable reason.
The wrestling veteran recently chatted with TMZ to share his true feelings about The Iron Claw, which tells the story of his wrestling family and the successes and tragedies they faced through the '80s and '90s. The film has been a big hit for A24, and Jeremy Allen White and Zac Efron are getting a lot of praise for their work in the biopic. While their performances are wonderful and include a lot of physicality, they couldn't exactly get into a real ring and compete, according to Kevin Von Erich. He shed light on why Hollywood heartthrobs Efron and White might never make it as pro wrestlers, and it all comes down to one crucial factor: their size. The sports legend said:
I could be real nice, but I’m gonna say, no way! Those guys are pretty small! But the way they shoot movies, you can shoot it where they look big, and so the movies on. They did it, it works. Real life? No way.
This is a pretty blunt assessment, but you can’t knock the honesty. For context, the High School Musical alum stands at 5’ 8" and the Bear star stands at 5’ 7", which means they're both on the shorter side of the male height spectrum. The real Kevin Von Erich is much taller, at 6’ 2". His brothers were also pretty tall. While this major height discrepancy doesn’t come across on the big screen considering how bulky the actors appear, this vertical challenge would be a factor if either of the Iron Claw stars actually decided to enter the ring.
While Kevin Von Erich may not believe the actors have a shot at a real heavyweight title, he was still very complimentary of them and their performances. While admittedly not all aspects of the film were 100% accurate, considering his fourth brother (Chris Von Erich) was omitted completely, the wrestler understood concessions had to be made for the sake of Hollywood movie making. And, while the actors may not be able to make it as real wrestlers, Von Erich praised Zac Efron’s athleticism that came across on screen:
Some of the things he did in the ring, he couldn’t have done if he wasn’t an athlete.
Anyone who saw The Iron Claw could probably see how athletic the leading man is on screen and, it seemed that his height challenges were null-and-void when he captured the essence of Kevin Von Erich and his emotional life story. In general the real-life subject was complimentary of the film, something that meant a lot to Jeremy Allen White after making it. They may not have a future in professional wrestling but, if these performances are any indication, Sean Durkin's biopic could still open up doors for the stars in regard to future roles, and I can’t wait to see what they do next.
You can see Zac Efron and Jeremy Allen White in The Iron Claw, which is currently playing in theaters nationwide. Be sure to read up on A24 films that will make a splash in 2024 consult our 2024 movie release schedule for information on even more titles that are set to hit theaters soon.