Even the Wrestling Training for The Iron Claw Broke All the Expected Rules
Guerrero Jr.: All of that stuff you’ve said has happened to me. Eddie, my uncle, died in my arms at my hotel when we were on the road. I was 32. Vince McMahon, the owner of WWE, came to the hotel. We had a supershow going on in Minneapolis in an hour or two, and it was like, “What do we do?” The show must go on. So I went out and wrestled, like Sean said, and I wrestled Eddie’s biggest rival.
Durkin: This must have been insane, to be dealing with that emotionally with a live audience.
Guerrero Jr.: People who got to the arena didn’t know yet. We did a tribute for Eddie. People paid to see a show, and it’s a live event on USA Network. There’s no canceling.
Durkin: Like in the movie, they had a family business and they had to figure out how to keep it going. The responsibility falls to the next person, and that was something that also really interested me. They were all talented boys. Who was leading? Who had the most heat? Who was going to be next in line? These fateful events dictated what happened to each of these guys.
How did the two of you link up for this?
Durkin: I used to watch Chavo wrestle, and I saw your name come up [as a trainer] on GLOW. I loved GLOW, and we obviously needed a wrestling trainer.
Guerrero Jr.: In Hollywood, you get a lot of people reaching out. Some of them might be bogus. I got an email, and maybe a day or two went by and I got a call from Alison Brie. She’s like, “Hey, Chavo, there’s this director that’s trying to get a hold of you. He really helped out my husband, Dave Franco, in his directorial debut.” “Davey,” she called him.
Durkin: I produced.
Guerrero Jr.: So that’s how we met.
What were the marching orders the two of you gave Zac, Harris, and Jeremy in terms of physique, diet, and training?
Durkin: Nothing. I cast the guys because of who they are as actors and didn’t want to give them any sort of guidance on physicality. For me, the whole point of the movie is to not try to put someone in a physical, manly box. So I said to them, “Train however you physically want to train.” They each had their own trainer, and then they came and worked with Chavo on the wrestling.