How Does Kevin Von Erich Feel About Zac Efron Playing Him In The Iron Claw? ‘It’s Not Easy To Be Me’

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Written By Maya Cantina

The pro wrestling biopic The Iron Claw is shaping up to be the feel-bad hit of the holiday season, which is said with the most positive spin possible, seeing as how it’s already entered the ring praised by critics. (Read CinemaBlend’s Iron Claw review here!) And thankfully to its stars and director Sean Durkin, the film was also given a stamp of approval by the legendary athlete Kevin Von Erich, the sole surviving member from his generation, who also gave star Zac Efron props for his portrayal. 

For the film’s premiere in Dallas, TX — the stomping grounds for the family’s World Class Championship Wrestling promotional reign — People spoke with the man himself, Kevin Von Erich, and he gave the understatement of all understatements when addressing what Efron and the other cast members brought to the table. In his words:

It’s not easy to be me. I wrestled seven years World Class, but then I wrestled 22 years. That’s a whole lot to cram into a movie, but he was able to do it … he’s a real star. They all are.

As anyone who watches The Iron Claw (or is already aware of the Von Erich saga) will know, being the oldest surviving member of this family meant dealing with one form of strife or tragedy after another. And that’s both in the ring and out of it, since the family’s career-minded successes required constant attention and tons of effort, which coincided with the struggles taking place on the domestic front. 

Of course the film couldn’t very well lay out the entirety of Kevin Von Erich’s timeline, and made some slight tweaks for streamlining purposes. But it absolutely delivers on proving how much of a beast Von Erich is as a human being, with Zac Efron delivering an effectively low-key performance as a man whose physical attributes far outweigh his emotional strengths.

Oddly enough, perhaps, the Iron Claw premiere was the first time that Kevin Von Erich actually met those involved with the movie, as he wasn’t involved with the production in any way, though not because he stood against it being made. Jeremy Allen White was honored to get the family’s support after it screened.

But maybe don’t expect to see Kevin Von Erich rocking East High School merch from Zac Efron’s big Disney breakthrough whenever the proud papa is out promoting his sons Marshall and Ross Von Erich for their new deal with AEW. As it turns out, Kev isn’t a High School Musical fanatic. As he put it:

I didn’t see that one, but I’m sure [Zac] did well.

Check out The Iron Claw trailer below to see Zac Efron’s muscles in action:

The Iron Claw hits theaters on Friday, December 22, and will become available to stream at some point in the new year with a Max subscription, thanks to the service’s exclusive deal with A24.

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