Iron Claw Movie Actor Defends His Widely Criticized Performance As Ric Flair

The long-awaited Von Erich family biopic "The Iron Claw" opened in theaters earlier this month, garnering strong reviews from critics and fans alike, and grossing $13 million at the box office. One of the talking points following the film's release has been Aaron Dean Eisenberg's portrayal of Ric Flair, with many feeling he failed to accurately translate the "Nature Boy" to the silver screen. Eisenberg opened up on his performance in an interview with "Man Cave Chronicles" (h/t Fightful). 

Eisenberg explained how he approached the role, noting that he never intended for his portrayal to be an impersonation. He said that he felt there was enough really great Flair impersonations in circulation and didn't feel mimicry would fit the film. "A lot of it, for me, was about the stakes for the Von Erichs because of their relationship to their father and what it meant to the family to get this belt. It felt like the stakes were so high for them, that my take on it became a more serious thing than Flair was in real life. It was a darker take on him." 

Eisenberg said that the timing had never worked out for him to connect with Flair regarding his portrayal before addressing the backlash from fans. He said that he has had some reach out aggressively regarding his portrayal, and he has been trying to understand their perspective. He stressed that it should be considered that he wasn't attempting to impersonate Flair, rather than craft a dramatized version of a historical character, and he feels that he did what he felt best served the film and best honored Ric Flair. 

"It's been a bummer that a subsection of the wrestling community has been like... it made them mad. It feels like it p***ed them off. I just wish they understood what it was as opposed to thinking I went for a mimic of Ric Flair and I missed," he said.