Jeremy Allen White wanted to say “no, chef” when it came to consuming his mega-meals ahead of wrestling biopic “The Iron Claw.”
White stars as wrestler Kerry Von Erich, aka the Texas Tornado, in the upcoming A24 film. Zac Efron plays the lead role of titular WWE Hall of Famer Kevin Von Erich, with Harris Dickinson, Lily James, Holt McCallany, and Maura Tierney also appearing in Sean Durkin’s film charting the wrestling dynasty of the Von Erich family.
To beef up to play the Texas Tornado, White said he was committed to a “gross” high-protein diet.
“[I was] eating all the time. Like, never stopping,” the “Bear” star told Esquire. “In the morning, I would have waffles, almond butter. In the middle of the day, I was eating turkey patties and avocado all the time. It’s really just gross. You’re trying to consume as much as you possibly can, and, to be honest, you don’t feel great. I was training as well, but, I don’t know, trying to get that big, it’s no way to live.”
White added that co-star Efron is a “maniac” when it came to the physical transformation for the role.
“He’s so focused and knowledgeable on training, diet, all that. In terms of a physical transformation, I think he kind of blew us all out of the water,” White said. “He looks really amazing in this thing.”
The “Shameless” alum teased that the wrestling biopic is “so interesting, bonkers, and sad” when it comes to the downfall of the Von Erichs.
“I was a fan of wrestling, but I didn’t know the story of the Von Erichs,” White said. “[Director] Sean did a beautiful job. He’s been a fan of wrestling and the Von Erichs since he was a kid, and so I feel like he understands the story so intimately that he had a really nice perspective on it. And it was a blast to work with Zac and Harris.”
White previously told GQ that Efron sent him a “really lovely note” before production which read: “Get training, eat, keep doing what you’re doing, stay hard.” White attempted to put on 40 pounds of muscle for the role, with Efron similarly undergoing a staggering transformation to play Kevin Von Erich.