As the press tour for The Iron Claw rolls on, the stars appeared on the Today show to discuss their new film. But while Jeremy Allen White, Harris Dickinson, and Stanley Simons looked like their normal selves, Zac Efron sparked concern among fans by wearing a pair of black sunglasses throughout the entire interview.
“Zac Efron is a legitimate, bona fide Hollywood superstar but that is not the reason he is in shades right now,” host Craig Melvin said with a laugh while introducing the Iron Claw actors.
Efron quickly apologized for his unusual choice of indoor attire. “No, I’m sorry, man,” Efron said. “I feel weird being in shades.”
As it turns out, the High School Musical alum wasn’t making a fashion statement. He was shielding his eyes from view, as he’s suffering from an infection.
“I just have a bit of an eye infection,” Efron explained. “But I really wanted to be here. It’s such a good movie, and I want to come see you guys and tell everyone about it.”
Fans of the 17 Again star were hesitant to accept his reason for wearing the sunglasses, though. “Omg Zac wearing shades inside is not normal! He’s not well. He’s having eye problems for sure,” one fan wrote on X (formerly known as Twitter).
“Zac Efron wearing these sunglasses indoors isn’t gonna dispel any of the rumors or worry going on about him,” another said.
Zac Efron on His ‘Jarring’ Physical Transformation for ‘The Iron Claw’
Wearing sunglasses indoors isn’t the first time Zac Efron has turned heads since signing on to play legendary professional wrestler Kevin Von Erich in The Iron Claw. The physical transformation the actor went through for the role was so intense, in fact, that Zac Efron himself found it a little shocking.
“In the best way possible, I did not look anything like me. It was jarring at first, but we kind of put it together piece by piece,” Efron told The Hollywood Reporter at the Iron Claw premiere.
For Jeremy Allen White, who plays Kerry Von Erich, Efron’s body transformation for Iron Claw was frustrating to witness. White lovingly criticized Efron for his “annoying” physique in a November interview with Variety.
“He’s so annoying,” the Bear actor joked. “I had been training for months, lifting and doing this and doing that and eating more, and I showed up, and I saw him, and I’m like, ‘What is this even for? Why do I even try?’”