How Zac Efron’s ‘wildly uncomfortable’ Iron Claw preparation pushed the actor to the limit – from eating every TWO hours to training so hard he couldn’t breathe for days

Zac Efron has revealed how gruelling his preparation for his new film Iron Claw was, describing it as ‘wildly uncomfortable’.

The wrestling drama, which was created by Sean Durkin, centres around the real-life story of the Von Erich wrestling family.

The movie will portray the meteoric rise of Texan brothers, Kevin (Zac Efron) and David (Harris Dickinson), and Kerry (Jeremy Allen White).

It will also detail their crushing fall as they attempt to keep up with their father’s – Fritz Von Erich’s (Holt McCallany) and his unrealistic expectations.

But adapting to the role was not smooth sailing for Zac, who found it difficult to meet with the role’s physical demands.

Zac Efron (pictured playing Kevin Von Elrich) shared the training process for his recent film Iron Claw, was gruelling and ‘wildly uncomfortable’

Zac, far left, transformed his body so much he was unrecognisable

The actor pictured in 2019

Zac, left, transformed his body so much he was unrecognisable compared to his naturally slim physique (right in 2019) 

In an interview with USA Today, Zac confessed he had no idea how the real life men managed to be so successful in the sport.

He said: ‘You think you’re getting the hang of it, and you speed up a few times and your confidence gets built up. 

‘Then you slam into one of those things just an inch too high and your rib is like gone. You can’t breathe for a couple days.’

He confessed the first time he tried the sport was ‘shocking’ as it was not as ‘easy’ as it appeared to be on TV. 

Many of the wrestling matches featured in the film were recreations from the Von Erichs’ prime against several of their rivals, Harley Race, Rice Flair and the Fabulous Freebirds.

The physical transformation into the wrestling pros seemed to be challenging for all three actors, with Dickinson describing it as hard and Zac quipping it was ‘pretty tedious’ to drag himself up to get into the gym daily.

Jeremy said his least favourite aspect of their training routine was having to eat every two hours.  

But it wasn’t all challenging, as The 17 Again star compared the wrestling training itself to a ‘fun camp with your best bros’.

The movie will portray the meteoric rise of Texan brothers, Kevin (Zac) and David (Harris Dickinson), and Kerry (Jeremy Allen White) - alongside their fall (pictured: Jeremy and Harris)

The movie will portray the meteoric rise of Texan brothers, Kevin (Zac) and David (Harris Dickinson), and Kerry (Jeremy Allen White) – alongside their fall (pictured: Jeremy and Harris)

Zac  admitted that the first time he tried the sport was 'shocking' as it was not as 'easy' as it appeared to be on TV (pictured: Zac)

Zac  admitted that the first time he tried the sport was ‘shocking’ as it was not as ‘easy’ as it appeared to be on TV (pictured: Zac)

He said there was a ‘team element’ to the sport and learning a new skill allowed him to use various parts of his brain. 

His co-star Dickinson described Efron as the group’s ‘biggest chearleader’, explaining that the star always wanted them to win.

Regarding the real-life wrestlers they play on-screen, Jeremy said it was interesting to explore the bond and rivalry between the siblings.

‘They reached this level of rock stars or superheroes, and really for not a very long period of time.’ 

The Iron Claw stars also turned to the wrestling community for support and guidance.

Jeremy also confessed how he did not realise a great deal of wrestling is about making each other ‘look good’.

The High School Musical star confessed it was 'pretty tedious' to get up and train in the gym daily (pictured Lily James as Pam and Zac)

The High School Musical star confessed it was ‘pretty tedious’ to get up and train in the gym daily (pictured Lily James as Pam and Zac)

Jeremy said it was interesting to explore the bond and rivalry between the wrestling siblings, who reached 'rock star' status for such a short time (pictured: Jeremy Allen as Kerry)

Jeremy said it was interesting to explore the bond and rivalry between the wrestling siblings, who reached ‘rock star’ status for such a short time (pictured: Jeremy Allen as Kerry)

He continued to explain that it is essential to ‘leave your ego at the door’ when taking part in the sport. 

Many real life pro wrestlers have made an appearance at several of the Iron Claw premieres, including John Cena, All Elite Wrestling champion Maxwell Jacob Friedman, as well as the real Kevin Von Erich. 

Despite the gruelling training, Dickinson divulged he would be up for stepping into the ring with his Iron Claw castmates again.

Zac added that it would be the ‘most electric show’, but he would still need a few weeks and a couple of training sessions to get his flexibility up to standard.

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