Beefcake

Zac Efron’s Iron Claw Transformation is Leaving Fans Craving More

Zac Efron is starring in the A24 film The Iron Claw, which has him portraying real-life pro wrestler Kevin Von Erich. But as usual, fans are less focused on the drama of the upcoming biopic than on Efron’s dramatic body transformation.

A viral onset photo shows the 35-year-old actor wrapped in a towel and checking his phone, all while sporting a 70s haircut and a much beefier bod.

Efron is no stranger to the public commenting on (or outright ogling) his body. But in a recent cover story for Men’s Health, he expressed a growing discomfort with how his body has been portrayed on screen in the past. Specifically, he referenced 2017’s Baywatch, in which he was slimmed and chiseled to perfection.

“That Baywatch look, I don’t know if that’s really attainable,” he said. “There’s just too little water in the skin. Like, it’s fake; it looks CGI’d. And that required Lasix, powerful diuretics, to achieve.”

This is in contrast to The Iron Claw, which has him bulking up, even if he is still very much ripped. “I much prefer to have an extra, you know, 2 to 3 percent body fat,” Efron said.

It was his intense training during Baywatch and the insomnia that followed that led him to fantasize about fleeing ideal body standards altogether. “At one point, that was a dream of mine—what it would be like to not have to be in shape all the time,” he explained. “What if I just say, ‘Fuck it’ and let myself go? So I tried it, and I was successful.”

But ultimately, he did not like how this change made him feel. “For all the reasons I thought it would be incredible, I was just miserable,” he said. “My body would not feel healthy; I just didn’t feel alive. I felt bogged down and slow.”

At the end of the day, Efron enjoys the challenge associated with taking on these kinds of roles in spite of the effect on his body. “I enjoy pushing myself and really laying it all out, to the point where I kind of have to do it,” he said. “Otherwise I don’t feel like myself.”

The Iron Claw is written and directed by Sean Durkin (The Nest), and follows the “rise and fall of the Von Erich family, a dynasty of wrestlers who made a huge impact on the sport from the 1960s to the present day,” according to the synopsis. In addition to Efron, Jeremy Allen White (The Bear) and Lily James (Pam & Tommy) are starring.

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