Zac Efron's The Iron Claw Influenced His Performance in A Family Affair in the Most Unexpected Way

Zac Efron's The Iron Claw Influenced His Performance in A Family Affair in the Most Unexpected Way
Image credit: BBC Film, Netflix

The actor worked on the two films simultaneously.


  • The Iron Claw was one of the most noteworthy films of 2023.
  • The preparation for the film influenced Zac Efron's performance in A Family Affair.
  • The director of the latter movie was inspired by Zac Efron's pain relief routine.

2023 saw many notable movie premieres. Barbie's financial success remains unmatched, as does Oppenheimer's performance at the Oscars. But those two aren't the only memorable films of the past year.

Sean Durkin's sports biopic The Iron Claw, which follows the Von Erich family of professional wrestlers and is titled after their signature move, was named one of the top ten films of 2023 by the National Board of Review, despite its modest scope. Starring Zac Efron as Kevin Von Erich, the film was shot concurrently with the actor's other new movie, the Netflix romantic comedy A Family Affair. And apparently, the former film had a significant impact on the latter.

A Source of Inconvenience

'It was very hard because I was super sore the whole time,' Zac Efron recently said of his time on the set of A Family Affair, which he shot while training extensively for The Iron Claw. 'One of the things that I did to sort of help with that was I brought an ice bath to set.'

The actor would take an ice bath every day at lunchtime or whenever he had a few minutes to spare. But one time, the bath turned out to be a bit awkward.

Have you ever tried ice baths or cold plunges?

A Serendipitous Discovery

'One time our director Richard LaGravenese kind of came in to give me some notes during lunch. And I didn't really give him a heads up so I was just in the ice bath while he came in to give me some notes,' Zac Efron said.

According to Efron, neither LaGravenese nor he addressed the situation, and the actor listened to the notes while sitting in the bathtub, shivering from the cold. But before the A Family Affair director left, he had an epiphany – the movie just had to have an ice bath scene. And with Zac Efron's approval, the scene was added to the upcoming movie, even though it wasn't supposed to be there.

This also turned out to be a bit uncomfortable, as filming the scene takes much longer than the actor would normally take the ice bath. According to him, he ended up in the icy water for over an hour. Fortunately, the water was much warmer than a typical ice bath, so Efron didn't suffer any ill effects – at least not that he mentioned.

You'll see the ice bath scene when A Family Affair premieres on June 28.

Source: YouTube.