Chavo Guerrero Jr. on training Zac Efron for The Iron Claw movie, why Chris Von Erich isn’t included in the film, Dominik Mysterio’s work in WWE


By Jason Powell, Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

Insight With Chris Van Vliet with guest Chavo Guerrero Jr.
Host: Chris Van Vliet
Podcast available via

On training Zac Efron for The Iron Claw: “You squish in as much as you can, and whatever they can absorb. Every actor is different. But, you know, Zac was able to absorb a lot, so we kind of sped him through it. But I threw a lot at him. And when you’re creating the scenes, there’s a lot of things you have to take into consideration. You have to take in the script, what the director wants, how the DP wants to shoot it, but also what your actors can and can’t perform. So you have to work within their parameters. Once I can get them to give me trust, and just know that I’m never going to put them in harm’s way. Safety is the number one important thing for me. Of course, we have to get the shot, but at the same time, if I ever have a hurt actor, it’s bad. So the number one thing is safety. And I won’t let them do anything that I am sure they can’t repeat 100 times. It’s one of those things, you know, there’s fluke accidents and freak accidents, things that happen. But I explained it to the to the actors.

“Same thing with my GLOW girls, you know, everybody on like that awesome Netflix show? I explained to them, you all know how to wrestle, you just don’t know yet. And they’re like, What do you mean? So I portray it to acting a lot. What do you do in acting? Constantly, you’re convincing the studio that you’re better looking than you are, you’re a better actor than you are. You’re taller than you are. You’re much more handsome or much more beautiful than you actually are. Well, that’s what I’ve been doing and wrestling for the last, you know, 20 years, 25 years. People every time they see me they go, I thought you were a lot bigger. Well, yeah, I portray myself a lot bigger. There are little tricks that we have, and I take a lot of those tricks and put them into the act and put them into Hollywood. So those actors I’m showing them, you may not be able to do that move, and that’s okay. There’s 100 ways to get from A to B. Let’s figure out what’s best for you. And let’s make that work. And then I got a lot of Hollywood tricks as well.”

On entire matches being filmed for the movie: “In Iron Claw, we filmed entire matches. Sean Durkin, the director, really wanted to get the feel of a real match, and then pick and choose what he wanted. There’s other productions that I’m shooting like 30 seconds, or 10 seconds or sometimes they want one move. But Sean wanted these wrestling sequences. So, if you see one of the opening matches, that happens to be me and Zac, that’s probably a 10 to 12-minute match. And we film that probably 10 or 15 times. So I tell the actors that go, sometimes this is easier than what we do in WWE, but sometimes it’s much harder. Because give me 20 minutes in a match at WrestleMania. Great, let’s do it on a pay-per-view. But it’s 20 minutes and I’m done. I go, you’re doing this three to four to five or 10-minute match 10 to 15 times you’re doing over four hours, and then you’re taking a break to go to lunch and you’re coming back and filming it again. So that’s very difficult by the end of a couple of those matches that Zac had, he was spent. You couldn’t tell in the match. But afterwards, he even came to me and he goes, Man, this is maybe one of the hardest days I’ve ever had on set. This is really hard. Well, yeah.”

Why was Chris Von Erich not featured: “I brought that up to Sean when I read the script, I said, you know that there’s the other [brother], Chris Von Erich, is not in the movie. And Sean had a great point. He just said it was too much tragedy. I mean, we only have a certain amount of time to tell the story. I explained this to, I think it was Lacey and Hollie. And they kind of mentioned you know, Uncle Chris isn’t in the movie. And I said, Well, this thing about where the movie wanted to go, are we doing a great movie or are we doing a documentary? Two different things. And they’re like, Yeah, you got a point here and I said [if it’s] the documentary and we’re gonna put it on Discovery Channel. You know, the whole three-part series, whatever. Great, let’s do it to tell it justice. I go, but for a movie, I mean, who wants to see a three-and-a-half-hour movie? Yeah, with more and more tragedies and more and more. It’s gonna be tough.”

On Dominik Mysterio: “Dominik Mysterio is killing it. He’s doing so good. He’s far beyond where he should be. As far as being good as well. It’s pretty cool to see them doing all this stuff. And we talked about that before. You get a lot of people especially because of Eddie [Guerrero] and how monumental and like cult following he has and how many people see how really great he is and was. You get a lot of people really trying to capitalize off of the Guerrero name and Eddie’s name. You’ll see it all the time. I just saw it on our house show the other day I was on and they started doing Eddie spots. And I’m like, why are you doing that when I was next after you guys? Oh, yeah, we didn’t think about that. I’m like, Guys, I get it. But you just did it. And everybody thought about Eddie. And they’re like, Yeah, you’re right. But I see that a lot. And anybody can do it. Dominik can do it and Rey can do it because of the history with them and stuff.”


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