Leave your preconceived notions about wrestling at the door. That’s what the cast of A24’s latest drama The Iron Claw emphasized today during the film’s post-premiere press conference in Dallas, TX.
“It’s like dance, gymnastics, combat sports… so many different things,” Jeremy Allen White, one of the film’s ensemble stars said to a packed ballroom of journalists at the glitzy Ritz Carlton Hotel downtown this morning.
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The film centers on the famed (and ultimately tragic) story of the Von Erich brothers, who took their unique talents from their hometown of Denton, to the world wrestling stage, in time creating the notorious The Iron Claw move that wowed the sport in the ‘80s.
On why he felt it was the right story to bring to the big screen, writer/director/producer Sean Durkin said, “I’ve been a fan of [wrestling] since I was a kid, and I think I was just really drawn to Kevin’s story of survival.”
Zac Efron, who plays Kevin, the only surviving Von Erich brother in the film, agreed. “Kevin’s had a crazy life.”
On perfecting the chemistry between the four lead actors, Efron revealed, “I think within thirty minutes, we were all pushing each other to the max,” a sentiment that was reiterated by Kevin himself, who told Durkin at the start of filming, “What’s important is that you know how much my brothers and I loved each other.”
“That’s how I knew I was making the right movie,” Durkin told the room today in response.
In fact, the cast was so moved by the Von Erich’s story that stars Harris Dickinson and Stanley Simons reached out to their own siblings after the film had wrapped. “I called my brothers after that last scene and told them I loved them,” Simons said.
Indeed, you might think you’re going to see a wrestling movie, but really, A24’s powerfully gripping The Iron Claw is a love letter from one brother to his three others. Bring your tissues. You’ll need them.
Excuse me, I need to go call my own brother now. Spencer, check your phone.
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