The Iron Claw's Holt McCallany Explains How Wrestlers And Actors Are Alike - Exclusive

If there are two entertainment universes that are more alike than people realize, they're the worlds of wrestling and acting. Much of wrestling is performative, with the stars becoming specific characters in pre-determined narratives — similar to what actors do in movies, on the stage, and on TV. Veteran character actor Holt McCallany, who plays legendary wrestler-turned-promoter and Von Erich family patriarch Fritz Von Erich in the new movie "The Iron Claw," told Wrestling Inc. in our exclusive interview that the similarities between the two professions are clear.

"If you're going to be a star in the world of professional wrestling, it's not just athleticism and technique and endurance," he says. "You absolutely have to have those things, but it's also charisma and personality and the ability to create a character that's going to capture the imagination of the wrestling fans."

McCallany notes that there are "tremendously talented" wrestlers who compete at colleges and in the Olympics, but that performing in the WWE demands an entirely different set of skills. "They call professional wrestling sports entertainment, and the entertainment component of that is crucially important," he explains. "In that sense, there are some very real similarities between what they do and what we do.

"In fact, I'll even go further," McCallany adds. "If you had to make me choose and say, 'Are they closer to actors, or are they closer to athletes?' — because they're both — I would say at the end of the day, they're closer to actors. Because if you don't have that ability to create a character that people are going to respond to, you are not going to become a star in the world of professional wrestling."

"The Iron Claw" is out now in theaters.

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