In a groundbreaking collaboration for the upcoming movie "The Iron Claw," retired wrestling icon Chavo Guerrero Jr. took on the pivotal role of transforming a group of Hollywood stars into convincing wrestlers. The film, directed by Sean Durkin and backed by A24, revolves around the story of the legendary Texas-based Von Erich wrestling family.
The cast includes Zac Efron, Harris Dickinson, Jeremy Allen White, and Stanley Simons, portraying Kevin, David, Kerry, and Mike Von Erich, respectively. Guerrero, a former ECW World Champion and WWE Tag Team Champion, faced the formidable task of equipping these actors with the skills and demeanor of authentic wrestlers.
Each actor, despite lacking prior ring experience, arrived on set primed and eager for the rigorous training ahead. This commitment significantly facilitated Guerrero’s task of instilling in them the essentials of wrestling—entering the ring, executing falls, engaging opponents, and more.
In an exclusive interview with Wrestling Inc., Guerrero shared insights into his unique approach to training actors. “A good teacher always adapts their teaching to their student,” he remarked, emphasizing the tailored nature of his instruction.
The actors' readiness to embrace the physically demanding and theatrical aspects of wrestling impressed Guerrero, who noted their daily progress and unexpected prowess in the ring.
Tailored Training Techniques
The training for "The Iron Claw" was as much about building camaraderie as it was about mastering wrestling techniques.
Guerrero observed distinct learning styles among the actors. For instance, Jeremy Allen White would intensely visualize each move before attempting it, while Zac Efron preferred a more hands-on walkthrough. This diversity in approach highlighted the actors' dedication to authentically portraying the Von Erichs.
Guerrero reflected on the actors' journey, acknowledging their evolved understanding and appreciation of wrestling. He shared a profound insight from Jeremy Allen White, who observed that the nuances between moves often hold the greatest significance in wrestling.
Guerrero affirmed this, emphasizing that the mastery of these subtleties elevates a good wrestler to greatness. This unique fusion of Hollywood talent and wrestling expertise promises to deliver a captivating portrayal of the Von Erich family's saga.
As Guerrero adeptly bridged the worlds of acting and wrestling, the actors of "The Iron Claw" emerged with a profound respect and deeper comprehension of the sport, ready to bring the legendary story of the Von Erichs to the big screen.