For Zac Efron, starring as wrestling legend Kevin Von Erich in The Iron Claw meant telling a true and moving story about a family of brothers with a dream.
The 36-year-old actor walked the carpet at the DGA Theater on Monday for the Los Angeles premiere of his new drama, and he spoke with ET’s Cassie DiLaura about how his relationship with his own younger brother, 31-year-old Dylan Efron, helped inspire and inform his performance.
“I can’t say it didn’t come into play,” Efron shared. “This movie’s about brothers, at the core of it, and you know, I’m a big brother myself. I love him to death. But there’s a certain kind of relationship — it’s just the brother bond.”
“So, of course I thought about him a lot over the course of this movie,” Efron added. “And I know that that connection, in the movie, is something that Kevin Von Erich really appreciated about it, so it makes me proud.”
The Iron Claw follows the Von Erich family, led by patriarch and coach Fritz Von Erich (played by Mindhunter star Holt McCallany), and his sons — Kevin (Efron), David (Harris Dickinson), Kerry (Jeremy Allen White), and Mike (Stanley Simons).
The Von Erich brothers spent the majority of their careers in World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW), where they won multiple individual and tag team titles. The family was a pro-wrestling dynasty in the 1980s, who found both triumph and tragedy in and out of the ring.
During their press tour together, while promoting the project, Efron became very close with his on-screen brothers, and hopes to keep that connection strong and to revisit their chemistry in the future.
“I get a good feeling that this is just the beginning of me working with these guys,” Efron shared. “I want to work with all those actors again… I’ve never had this much fun on anything. It’s truly special and I hope I get the chance to work with everyone on this again.”
Meanwhile, Monday’s premiere came just hours after Efron was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, where he was joined at the star ceremony by several close friends and his entire family.
“I tell you what, I never dreamed that I’d have a day like this,” Efron shared with ET. “It’s pretty incredible. It’s very special. My whole family was here today and looking around, seeing so many old friends and colleagues that I worked with over the years, and [hearing] some pretty awesome speeches, man, I got kind of emotional.”
“I don’t know what I was expecting, but that surpassed my wildest dreams,” he added with a smile.
Check out the video below for more on Efron’s star ceremony.
The Iron Claw hits theaters on Dec. 22.