Jeremy Allen White ‘Didn’t Want to Stand Near’ Zac Efron in New Film
Jeremy Allen White revealed at the East Coast premiere of The Iron Claw (via People) that he “didn’t want to stand near” Zac Efron while filming Sean Durkin’s biopic. It wasn’t due to any personality clash, though. White was nervous that Efron was so ripped, he’d look puny in comparison.
In The Iron Claw, White and Efron star alongside Harris Dickinson and Stanley Simons as the Von Erich brothers, who rose to fame as wrestlers in the 1970s and ‘80s under the tutelage of their domineering father (Holt McCallany). White plays the ill-fated Kerry Von Erich.
The stars took center stage for a round of audience questions after the film’s New York City screening earlier this week. That’s when White made the startling admission that he tried to get out of posing next to Efron, whose jacked transformation for the film turned more than a few heads.
“Yeah, I didn’t want to stand near Zac. I saw him and I went, ‘Can Harris [Dickinson] stand next to him?’” White cracked to the audience. “I mean, Zac looked so amazing and I think, yeah, just being around him was a motivator for me to eat more, train more.”
White told the crowd that, due to his slender frame, he knew it wouldn’t be “physically possible” to match Kerry’s physique. Nevertheless, he made his best effort.
“I knew I couldn’t get as big as Kerry. I just don’t think it was physically possible for me,” White admitted. “I’m a pretty little guy, but I tried. I don’t think it’s possible for any human on the planet.”
Speaking to the real-life Kerry’s size, White regaled the crowd with a story of the brother allegedly once intimated The Terminator himself.
“Arnold Schwarzenegger and Kerry were in the same room once,” White explained, “and Kerry popped his shirt off and Arnold Schwarzenegger himself was too nervous to take his shirt off around Kerry. That’s how big this man was.”
White has previously discussed his diet for the film, which he classified to Esquire as “just gross.” He explained to the outlet that he was “eating all the time. Like, never stopping,” the actor lamented. “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.”
At this week’s screening, Efron made similar remarks but specified he knew exactly what he was signing on for when boarding the project. “I knew that going into it…to get into that shape, you have to become kind of obsessed. It takes over your life,” Efron told the crowd. “That’s all you’re doing is eating, sleeping, training and wrestling. Our lives outside of that were kind of nonexistent.”
The Iron Claw hits theaters on December 22. You can watch the trailer below.