Jeremy Allen White Gaining 40 Pounds of Muscle for New Film: ‘The Bear’ Led to ‘Four A24 Scripts’ Landing on ‘My Desk’

Jeremy Allen White is already the internet’s boyfriend thanks to his beloved turn on FX’s “The Bear,” but that title should only intensify when White packs on pounds of muscle for A24’s “The Iron Claw.” White is starring as the wrestler Kerry Von Erich in the Sean Durkin-directed drama, which co-stars Zac Efron and Harris Dickinson. The actor told GQ magazine that he’s gaining 40 pounds of muscle for the role.

“The Iron Claw” tells the tragic true story of the Von Erich wrestling troupe. Kerry Von Erich’s career was derailed after a motorcycle accident resulted in his right foot being amputated. Kerry later died by suicide. White said there are parallels between Kerry and the chef Carmy he plays on “The Bear.”

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“There’s something human about never feeling like you are really your own man,” White said. “All great drama is about family, whether it’s blood or not. It’s about acceptance, it’s about belonging, and just getting away from loneliness.”

Zac Efron has gone viral on social media due to photos of him from “The Iron Claw” set in which he appears jacked. Efron wrote White “a really lovely note” after the latter was cast in the film. The letter read: “Get training, eat, keep doing what you’re doing, stay hard.”

The film is one of many projects that White got courted for following the explosive success of “The Bear.” According to White, “four A24 scripts” landed on his desk following the show’s runaway success and “The Iron Claw” was chosen.

As reported by GQ, White’s career shifted after “The Bear” when “Kathryn Bigelow invited him out to lunch just so she could bounce a few ideas for projects off him. Out of nowhere there were ‘four A24 scripts on my desk,’ White says. And he heard from a friend that Dustin Hoffman — another idol of his — loved the show so much that he wanted to send White a handwritten letter.”

White’s career resurgence is surprising even to him considering he played the same character, Philip “Lip” Gallagher, on the Showtime series “Shameless” for 11 seasons and 134 episodes across 10 years. White admitted earlier this year that he was left in an “upsetting head space” when the show came to an end after a decade.

“I love ‘Shameless’ so much. I love everybody that was a part of it, and the experience was incredible,” White said. “But I’m not sure if shows are meant to go that long… There was a period where I stopped feeling like an actor and I started feeling like I was just here to do this show.”

White added, “It was an upsetting head space to be in. When it was going to end, I was questioning: maybe I do just exist on this show. What else is there? Am I an actor? I was definitely having a lot of doubt when I was finishing ‘Shameless.’”

Expect A24’s “The Iron Claw” to debut in 2023.

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