Zac Efron felt ‘withdrawn’ when bulking up for the new wrestling flick The Iron Claw.
The High School Musical actor bulked up to play WWE Hall of Famer Kevin Von Erich in A24’s heartbreaking new drama, and the metamorphosis had an emotional impact in addition to the apparent physical consequences.
He claimed that his goal for perfection became a ‘obsession’ as he spent eight months training to become a professional wrestler.
That started with volume training, as he added 15 pounds (almost two stone) of muscle.
‘That necessity to be perfect — it became an obsession. It was a singular focus for months. And your life goes out the window during prep,’ he told Variety of his body transformation.
‘Then I was able to incorporate old-school body-building and Olympic lifting, and really achieved that specific look of pro wrestlers, which was really hard.’
The gruelling process made him feel somewhat detached, which fit his preparation to play a man who became alienated.
‘It was an unforeseen ally,’ he admitted. ‘Having all that weight on, you don’t feel normal. And the delayed-onset muscle soreness was through the roof.
‘During preparation, it’s one thing to manage that — you don’t have to be super social. I found myself withdrawing quite a bit.’
The idea of loneliness is sadly not a new one for the 35-year-old actor, who pointed to the impact of entering Hollywood at a young age.
‘Growing up young and in the industry — frankly, what you’re going through is of very little concern,’ he added.
‘The goal is always the next mission, the next movie, making sure everyone else is very happy. It can be very lonely at times.
‘But the process of taking your emotions head-on, sort of working with them, was a profound moment in my life. And it’s definitely taken me down a different road.’
The Iron Claw is based on a true tale and follows the Von Erich wrestling dynasty, lead by father and coach Fritz (Holt McCallany) and his sons Kevin (Zac), David (Harris), Kerry (Jeremy), and Mike (Standley Simons).
Kevin’s siblings sadly perished, sparking the myth of the ‘Von Erich curse’.
The official synopsis reads: ‘The true story of the inseparable Von Erich brothers, who made history in the intensely competitive world of professional wrestling in the early 1980s.’
Source My Celebrity Life.