Jeremy Allen White Added 40 Pounds of Muscle to Play Pro Wrestler in The Iron Claw

Following the success of his Hulu series The Bear, actor Jeremy Allen White found himself practically hounded by A24 to star in one of their films. Speaking with GQ, White, who’s also known for his long-running role as Phillip “Lip” Gallagher in Showtime’s Shameless, revealed that A24 had actually sent him screenplays for four separate movies in the midst of the acclaim he was earning for The Bear. Ultimately, the screenplay that resonated the most with the actor was The Iron Claw, and he accepted the offer of playing a pro wrestler in the film.

Directed by Sean Durkin, The Iron Claw is based on the true story of pro wrestling’s Von Erich family. White will play Kerry Von Erich, a wrestling legend who performed in WWE (then WWF) using the nickname Texas Tornado; the fan favorite died by suicide at the age of 33 in 1993. The wrestler is also one of five Von Erich siblings who’d all become pro wrestlers under the tutelage of their father, Fritz Von Erich, played by Holt McCallany (Mindhunter) in the film. Also part of the cast as other members of the family are Zac Efron as Kevin Von Erich, the only one of the five brothers who didn’t die at a young age, and Harris Dickinson (Where the Crawdads Sing) as late wrestler David Von Erich, who died of acute enteritis in 1984 at age 25.


Stepping into the boots of the Texas Tornado meant White had to pack on some muscle to better look the part. White tells GQ that when he was cast, Efron sent him a “really lovely note” suggesting that he “get training” for the project. White is taking that advice seriously, putting on 40 pounds of muscle with his transformation. It’s something Efron had also been doing himself, as photos of him in his role as Kevin went viral with fans stunned by the actor’s sculpted body. Efron has also released an image of himself throwing a dropkick in the first look at the movie, though we have yet to see White in his role as Kerry.

Related: The Iron Claw: Plot, Cast, and Everything We Know

The Iron Claw is a Story About Family


The story of the Von Erichs is a bit of a tragic tale, leading to some fans wondering if the family had been cursed. Patriarch Fritz Von Erich’s first-born son, Jack Jr., died in a freak electrocution accident in 1959 when he was just six years old. Fritz’s five other sons would all become part of the pro wrestling business and were particularly popular in Texas and other Southern states. The family was also known for the trademark hold known as the Iron Claw.

By 1993, culminating with Kerry Von Erich’s death by suicide, Fritz had lost five of his six sons. Fritz died of cancer at the age of 69 in 1997, while 65-year-old Kevin is still with us today. His story was previously covered in the Dark Side of the Ring episode “Last of the Von Erichs.”

The Iron Claw does not yet have an official premiere date set by A24.

You can view the original article HERE.

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