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Zac Efron’s The Iron Claw Costars Sang High School Musical Songs to Him During Filming


  • Zac Efron’s costars played practical jokes on him during the filming of The Iron Claw, including singing High School Musical songs to him.
  • Stanley Simons sang “Breaking Free” to Efron during a house party scene, Efron playfully criticized his singing, and they had a fun time on set.
  • The Iron Claw director, Sean Durkin, paid great attention to detail, particularly in wardrobe and hair and makeup, creating an accurate and authentic portrayal of the Von Erich wrestling family.

Zac Efron may have buffed up for his new film, The Iron Claw, but his physical transformation didn’t stop his costars from playing some practical jokes on him during filming. This included singing songs to the 36-year-old actor that took him back to his High School Musical days.

During a Q&A session that followed a screening of The Iron Claw on November 12 at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences’ Samuel Goldwyn Theater, Stanley Simons, who plays Mike Von Erich, revealed to the audience, and to People, that he would sing High School Musical songs to Efron during their downtime. Recalling one such instance where they were filming a house party scene, Simons said that he began playing one of High School Musical’s more notable numbers.

“I sung some of Breaking Free to Zac when I was playing my music scene. That was definitely a life experience that I’ll never forget. When I was singing the song, he was like, ‘Oh, you’re not hitting it, you’re not hitting it.’ I was like, ‘Oh,’ and I redid it. And I think I did a good job!”

For Efron, who portrays Kevin Von Erich in The Iron Claw, he remembers the moment fondly.

“God damn it, Stanley! I do remember that being one of the most fun days that we had.”

He continued:

“Filming a house party could go one way or the other. It’s a lot of people that are stuck in one room for many days, it can be kind of daunting. But this one was just electric. It felt like a high school party.”

Related: The Iron Claw Cast Wants to Join the WWE

The Iron Claw Director Praised by Cast for His Attention to Detail

The Iron Claw

Release Date
December 22, 2023

Sean Durkin

Jeremy Allen White, Zac Efron, Lily James, Harris Dickinson, Maura Tierney

Main Genre

Written and directed by Sean Durkin, The Iron Claw tells the story of the legendary Von Erich wrestling family based out of Texas, and the personal struggles they dealt with outside the ring during their success in the 1980s. In addition to Efron, Simons, and Durkin, also present at the screening and Q&A was Jeremy Allen White, who portrays Kerry Von Erich. Speaking on Durkin’s attention to detail, The Bear star said:

“Our wardrobe department was so specific. Hair and makeup. We just had a really excellent team put together by Sean to make sure that everything was as accurate and detailed as possible.”

Echoing White’s sentiment, Efron noted how The Iron Claw director was able to recall in great detail the wrestling he’d seen to prepare for the movie, and how that helped the actors with their performances.

“And with the detail in which he remembered things from the matches from his television set at home was amazing. So him being able to recall these very specific moments meant a lot. And where it really came into play, I think a lot was with the physicality in the ring.”

Set to be released on December 22nd, 2023, The Iron Claw is already garnering praise from early reviews, with many calling it the best film to come out of A24, the famed production company behind the biopic, which has also produced the likes of Hereditary, Talk to Me, and the 2023 Oscar winner for Best Picture, Everything Everywhere All At Once.


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