Zac and his The Iron Claw co-stars, Jeremy Allen White and Harris Dickinson cover Entertainment Weekly! Check out the new shoot in the gallery and an interview below!
The stars of The Iron Claw may not be blood relatives, but spending an afternoon with them feels a lot like hanging out with three actual brothers. In between takes at their EW cover shoot in late October, Zac Efron, Jeremy Allen White, and Harris Dickinson have an easy camaraderie — finishing each other’s sentences and walking together in step as they navigate a dusty mountain road above a Simi Valley horse ranch at sunset.
As with all siblings, spiritual or otherwise, there’s plenty of good-natured ribbing — sometimes literally. Around lunchtime, a crew member hands Efron, White, and Dickinson a plate of ribs to eat on camera, and before long, all three are coated in a fine layer of barbecue sauce. But even as they poke fun at the stains on each other’s shirts, they really just seem content to hang out. Later (after a change of clothes), they sit down for an interview, and when asked how they trained to play members of the legendary Von Erich wrestling family in the new biopic, they mostly just want to heap praise on one another.
“I was blown away on the first day that you guys came to work,” Efron, 36, marvels. “You were jumping off ropes and doing huge hits.”
“We had some time [training] in L.A.,” White, 32, replies. “But I don’t know, Zac, I never saw you not good at anything.”
Dickinson, 27, admits to occasionally feeling silly in the ring, especially when their wrestling coach told them to go home and punch pillows for practice. But the British actor’s onscreen brothers won’t stand for any self-deprecation. “From the moment you come out, you’re just doing heavy drops on the mat,” Efron tells him, his voice tinged with eldest brother pride, not unlike the Von Erich brother he plays in the film. “And your claw is killer.”
That fraternal bond serves them well in The Iron Claw (out Dec. 22), the highly anticipated A24 drama about one of wrestling’s most iconic dynasties. The film focuses on four of the six Von Erich brothers — Kevin (Efron), David (Dickinson), Kerry (White), and Mike (Stanley Simons) — who built a wrestling empire in the 1970s and ’80s, led by their domineering father Fritz (Mindhunter’s Holt McCallany). But even as they rose to international fame, the family struggled both in and outside of the ring. Five of the Von Erich brothers (all except Kevin) died young, succumbing to health issues, tragic accidents, or suicide. The back-to-back deaths sparked rumors of a family curse — a cautionary tale of how sometimes success can exact a brutal price.