How The Iron Claw Cast Transformed into ‘80s Wrestling Superstars


The Iron Claw follows the Von Erich family and is based on a true story about four brothers from Texas who lived to wrestle and made history doing so under the direction and coaching of a relentless father. Tragically, Kevin Von Erich (Efron) loses all three of his brothers to differing traumatic circumstances but is able to ultimately break the cycle by leaving wrestling behind and focusing on his own family. “The Iron Claw is not about grief and pain; it is about the absence of grief and what can happen when people refuse to look at their pain,” director Sean Durkin says. “Part family drama, part gothic horror, and part sports movie, The Iron Claw is a true Greek Tragedy in the American heartland.” A critical part of bringing the film to life was creating character looks based on real people.

The Hair of ‘80s Wrestling Superstars

The hair overall wasn’t supposed to be “good hair,” per se. “I feel like the Von Erich brothers’ hair did not look like most of the other wrestlers at that time,” Rose says. “For me, that was part of their charm. They were just amazing wrestlers. The fact that they didn’t perm and bleach their hair like the majority of the wrestlers at the time made them more relatable to their fan base because they weren’t pro wrestlers with a gimmick. They were the boys next door, the local heroes. I mean, it’s not the best hair, but it’s right.”

To achieve that accuracy, both Efron and Dickinson sported wigs to play their respective characters, Kevin and David. Having started her career at the Houston Grand Opera and Houston Ballet, Rose had experience in making sure wigs looked real while flying through the air. One difficult aspect of the hair in the film was depicting its decade-long span of time and choosing which of the brother’s specific real-life wrestling looks to hone in on. “David is the one brother that changed his hair a lot — he was probably the most eccentric one,” Rose tells Allure. “We had limited resources because it’s a smaller-budget movie. [We had to decide how to] focus our wigs because [David] had like, 85 different looks in his career.” Despite the real David’s penchant for experimentation, Dickinson only wore one wig during filming.



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