Tragic Story of Kevin Von Erich and His Wrestling Family: Zac Efron’s The Iron Claw Wins Pro Wrestling Fans’ Hearts

The High School Musical star delivers his finest performance yet in the sports drama.

Tragic Story of Kevin Von Erich and His Wrestling Family: Zac Efron’s The Iron Claw Wins Pro Wrestling Fans’ Hearts

SUMMARY

  • Zac Efron’s performance in the sports drama The Iron Claw is widely regarded as his finest performance to date.
  • The film is based on the infamous Von Erich family, a family of professional wrestlers who faced multiple tragedies.
  • Efron plays Kevin Von Erich, the last surviving member of the doomed wrestling family.
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Actor Zac Efron stars as real-life wrestler Kevin Von Erich in A24’s wrestling drama The Iron Claw. Based on the infamous Von Erich family, the film is directed by Sean Durkin and explores the tragic lives of professional wrestlers. The film premiered in Dallas and is all set to release on December 22.

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Efron’s portrayal of the last surviving member of the tragic Von Erich family is being praised as one of his best performances to date. The High School Musical star plays Kevin Von Erich and was personally endorsed by the real-life wrestling star. Fans are also appreciating the film for its portrayal of the real-life tragedy. Spoilers ahead for the film.

Also read: Real Reason Kenny Ortega Thought Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens Will Sink High School Musical

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The Tragic Story Of Kevin Von Erich

The Von Erich Family
The Von Erich Family

Sean Durkin’s poignant drama about the infamous Von Erich wrestling family is based on the tragedy known as the ‘Von Erich Curse’. The film follows the family patriarch Fritz Von Erich, who began the tradition of becoming a professional wrestler in the family. The patriarch is portrayed by Holt McCallany in the film. Fritz Von Erich passed away in 1997 due to cancer.

Zac Efron portrays the second and only surviving son of the family, Kevin Von Erich, who was successful like his father in the professional wrestling world. Jeremy Allen White, known for his performance in The Bear, portrays Kerry Von Erich, the fourth son of the family and the most successful wrestler, known as the Texas Tornado.

The ‘Von Erich Curse’ refers to the untimely and premature deaths of all but one son of Fritz Von Erich before his own death in 1997. His first son Jack lost his life at the age of six after getting electrocuted and drowning in a melting snow puddle. Kerry Von Erich passed away at the age of thirty-three after shooting himself with a gun.

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David, the third son of the family, also passed away after suffering complications from enteritis. However, many of his wrestling colleagues believed that he died of a drug overdose. The fifth son of the family, Mike, also died after taking a fatal dose of tranquilizers, while the sixth son, Chris, died after shooting himself in the heart with a handgun at the age of twenty-one.

Also read: “They were making out on and off for…”: The High School Musical Star Zac Efron Reportedly Made Out With Post-breakup

Zac Efron’s Performance As Kevin Von Erich

A still from The Iron Claw
A still from The Iron Claw

Despite being in the industry for a long time, Zac Efron is yet to be taken seriously as a dramatic actor. He received his breakthrough when he starred in the Disney-produced High School Musical franchise. Efron then went on to star in a few romantic comedies such as 17 Again and romance dramas such as Me and Orson Welles. 

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The actor received some acclaim for playing the role of Philip Carlyle, a playwright who becomes an entertainer in the Hugh Jackman starrer The Greatest Showman. Efron also received acclaim for starring as Ted Bundy in the film Extremely Wicked, Shockingly, Evil, and Wile

Also read: Unlike Zac Efron, Jeremy Allen White Admitted It Was Not “Physically possible” For Him To Play Kerry Von Erich

Zac Efron in The Iron Claw
Zac Efron in The Iron Claw

The actor then underwent a physical transformation for the role of Kevin Von Erich in Sean Durkin’s The Iron Claw. He spoke about the doubts he had while playing the role and the physical transformation it demanded in an interview with Entertainment Tonight,

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“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?'”

Fans of the film have appreciated Efron’s beautiful performance in the film and some have even termed it to be his best performance in his career.

 

 

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The actor’s efforts were reportedly validated by the real Kevin Von Erich himself, who approved of his performance and technique after the premiere of the film.

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Written by Nishanth A

Articles Published: 1164

Nishanth A is a Media, English and Psychology graduate from Bangalore. He is an avid DC fanboy and loves the films of Christopher Nolan. He has published over 1,000 articles on FandomWire. When he's not fixating on the entire filmography of a director, he tries to write and direct films.