Zac Efron and Jeremy Allen White have opened up about what it was like to film nude and near-nude in the upcoming wrestling biopic, The Iron Claw.
Based on the true story of the close-knit Von Erich brothers, a trio who made history in the 1980s in the world of professional wrestling, White (The Bear, Shameless) and Harris Dickinson (Triangle of Sadness, Beach Rats) co-star alongside High School Musical graduate Efron.
Although not an explicitly queer story, The Iron Claw‘s promo has thus far been highly homoerotic, sending internet queers into a frenzy.
Charactered by premature death and drugs, the brothers’ true-life story has subsequently been dubbed the “Von Erich curse”.
Directed by Sean Durkin (The Nest, Martha Marcy May Marlene), it will hit UK screens in February 2024 – and the cast have opened up about the thirstier scenes that, alongside the heartache, have already come to characterise this forthcoming motion picture.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Efron reflected on the scenes where he “actually got to wear something”, with co-star Dickinson chiming in that it was “quite weird being that naked in front of that many strangers”.
White too found the process of stripping down to those muscles somewhat daunting, but by the end, he was basking in it.
“It’s kind of weird how quickly you get used to it though, isn’t it?”, the Shameless star added. “The first day I was like a little bit [uncomfortable,] but then … in the end, I loved it.”
The promotional photoshoot for Entertainment Weekly features Efron, White and Dickinson seductively eating chicken wings in slow-motion – so take from that what you will.
At the US premiere of the biopic on 9 November, Efron and White were pictured mimicking a wrestle – hands locked – at the press conference, which went down a storm with thirsty fans.
“The Iron Claw getting rave reviews. I planned this. This is my doing”, one fan joked on X, formerly Twitter.
“Can’t wait to see The Iron Claw for the plot”, another chimed, sharing a picture of Efron and White with oiled-up muscles.
“Jeremy Allen White you owe me at least ONE happy role my god”, one concerned fan added, no doubt referencing the stress-inducing role of chef Carmen Berzatto White stepped into for Hulu’s The Bear.
“The bear renewed, jeremy content and he look fine af AND the iron claw is on the way yeahhh I won,” another White stan wrote.
Meanwhile, on the red carpet, Efron revealed that he was initially startled when he was asked to join the cast – but the “love, family and loss” and “one man’s perseverance through intense struggle” convinced him to accept.
“I was kind of rattled. I went ‘are you serious, dude? Oh my gosh!”, the 17 Again star laughed. “But then he [Durkin] told me about the story and about the heart behind it. He won me over in that.”
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