Director Sean Durkin discusses The Iron Claw

December 16, 2023 DGA Membership Screening Q&As in LA and NY

A group of brothers seek larger-than-life immortality via the intensely competitive world of professional wrestling in Director Sean Durkin’s biographical sports drama, The Iron Claw.

Durkin’s film tells the true story of the inseparable Von Erich brothers, who go through tragedy and triumph, under the shadow of their domineering father and coach, to make wrestling history in the early 1980s.

On December 3, after the DGA membership screening in Los Angeles, Durkin discussed the making of The Iron Claw during a Q&A moderated by Director Catherine Hardwicke (Mafia Mamma). He also spoke about the film with Director Chinonye Chukwu (Till) following the New York screening on December 16.

During the Los Angeles conversation, Durkin revealed how he used the enthusiasm of his background actors in the wrestling scenes to lend more authenticity and energy to the film.

“Our extras were an incredible audience. They were fans of wrestling and a lot of people who used to see the Von Erichs tour through Baton Rouge. They’d really feed the guys in the ring. It felt like a real event. So, I just wanted to capture as much of that as possible and just shoot the matches in full. Even if we had to repeat a move or move past it and come back to get it, we would just try to get as much of that flow and energy as we could.”

Durkin’s other directorial credits include the feature films The Nest and Martha Marcy May Marlene; episodes of the mini-series Southcliffe; and episodes of the series Dead Ringers. He became a DGA member in 2021.


Q&A photos by Chris Ragazzo (Los Angeles) & Marcie Revens (New York) – Print courtesy of A24

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