Known for his heartthrob status and charming good looks, Zac Efron recently underwent a stunning transformation for an upcoming A24 movie. The wrestling film set in the 1980s. The High School Musical alum debuted a bold new look, catching everyone’s attention. In a recent interview, The Lucky One star openly compared his distinctive hair and Speedo costume to the male dancer style of Magic Mike, and honestly, once he pointed it out, I can’t unsee it.
For those familiar with professional wrestling, the Von Erich dynasty’s story and the massive success the family saw in the 1980s is probably not news to you. However, if you're not in the loop, The Iron Claw aims to change that. During a press conference for the film's premiere at The Ritz Carlton in Dallas, Texas, People reports that the 36-year-old actor humorously acknowledged the most significant pain during his preparation to play pro wrestler Kevin Von Erich was to his ego. Reflecting on the transformation process, Efron shared:
It was shocking at every point of the transformation. I remember Harris [Dickinson] and I were walking out of hair and make-up, and it was like the first time we had to wear the full kit, and we were both thinking, 'What the hell are we doing here, man? How did we get into this?'
The internet buzzed with discussions about the Hairspray star’s dramatic transformation. Not all initial reactions were positive. Some commentators, noting the stark change from The Greatest Showman star's usual good looks, playfully compared him to Shrek's Lord Farquaad, sparking a wave of humorous commentary. Interestingly, the actor acknowledged his own mixed feelings after he had to appear in full costume in front of a crowded stadium, recalling:
It was the very first time that I had to enter the Sportatorium in Kevin's full costume, which was just, frankly, a Speedo, or trunks, and everybody was out there, there was this huge crowd, and the lights were on. I just remember in that moment thinking, how the hell did I end up here? What is going on? This is Magic Mike.
I can defintely see a comparison between the revealing wrestling Speedo and the world of male stripping made popular in Magic Mike. Also, this peek into the actor's first response heightens my anticipation for his dramatic on-screen transformation. It's rare to see a beloved heartthrob ditch his usual polished image for something entirely unexpected. As the 17 Again actor reassured, everything turned out “looking really good.” He continued:
But I think it ended up looking really good and we had a great crew helping us out with that. The hair and make-up team was epic.
After catching the initial glimpse of The Iron Claw’s first trailer and the movie’s first reactions, I wholeheartedly share Efron’s sentiment. It’s not just “really good” – it’s downright epic. The in-ring footage captured looks exceptional, and it’s no surprise because one of the details we know about The Iron Claw is that famed wrestler Chavo Guerrero Jr. served as a consultant on the film, and it shows.
The stellar cast assembled by director Sean Durkin is adding to my excitement about the film. Alongside Zac, the lineup includes The Bear’s Jeremy Allen White as Kerry Von Erich, Harris Dickinson as David Von Erich, Stanley Simons as Mike Von Erich, AEW superstar Maxwell Jacob Friedman as Lance Von Erich, Maura Tierney as Doris Von Erich, Lily James as Pam Adkisson, and Holt McCallany as Fritz Von Erich. The trailer skillfully hints at the tense family dynamics, and I am thoroughly excited about what’s in store.
Mark your calendars for a cinematic display of pure muscle power. In addition to witnessing Zac Efron’s wild new look, get ready to be dazzled by him showing off some insane wrestling moves. The Iron Claw is set to hit theaters on December 22, creating a highly anticipated addition to the schedule of 2023 movie releases.