Actor and wrestler Ryan Nemeth on appearing alongside Zac Efron in ‘The Iron Claw’

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Ryan Nemeth – actor, writer, comedian and pro-wrestler – is a truly multi-faceted Hollywood talent. He plays the iconic 1980s wrestler Gino Hernandez in the much-anticipated A24 film ‘The Iron Claw’, and has appeared on TV shows including ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’, ‘The Eric Andre Show’, and ‘I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson’. Ryan, known in the wrestling world as ‘Hollywood Hunk Ryan Nemeth’, currently wrestles exclusively on AEW (All Elite Wrestling)TV programming, but his contract is up in early spring 2024 and he says he’s “open-minded and excited” about what the future holds. He is repped by BAC Talent and Brevard Talent Group.

Tell us about your role in the upcoming wrestling film ‘The Iron Claw’?

“It was an absolute dream! The script brought me to tears every time I read it. I’ve wrestled Kevin Von Erich’s sons in the past, and they’re great, so to be cast in this prolific film about the Von Erich family was very meaningful for me. I studied Gino Hernandez matches for months, every move and mannerism; I just wanted to nail it. After one of the longest in-ring days on set, Sean Durkin (the writer and director) pulled me aside and said, ‘Ryan, you seriously brought Gino to this film’. I was speechless. It was one of those moments you just feel like you’re in the right place in life. I worked about three weeks on the film, and loved every minute of it.”

“The cast is amazing. It was a thrill to do so much in-ring stuff with Harris Dickinson and Zac Efron, who both took to it really naturally. They really put in the work! Harris has a really great dropkick in the film as well.”

Photo credit: Brandon Cohen

What’s your wrestling persona?

“I’ve been wrestling for about 10 years. I worked in WWE NXT for three years, then on independents, and in 2021 I signed with AEW. I perform as ‘Hollywood Hunk Ryan Nemeth’ – I’m a cocky, pretty-boy villain with a dash of Ken from ‘Barbie’. A himbo you love to hate!”

Tell us about how you got started in the film industry?

“When I moved to LA I started auditioning, networking, and helping out on other people’s projects. I got lots of reps on stuff like ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’and some bigger things like ‘Pee-wee’s Big Holiday’. I also started writing: things like ‘WWE Swerved’ for Jeff Tremaine, and smaller projects that I could act in myself. I was also lucky early on to book a few national commercials, like a very fun Venmo campaign where I’m riding miniature horses, and an Xfinity spot alongside Amy Poehler. Look up the Venmo one, it’s very funny.”

Photo credit: Brandon Cohen

Other than ‘The Iron Claw’, which film projects are you most proud to be a part of?

“I wrote and starred in a short film called ‘Heel’ that I’m so proud of. It was the first time I collaborated with filmmaker Maggie Levin, which was really great. It was screened and won awards at over 20 festivals around the world. I am eternally grateful to everyone who worked on it.”

“I had two screenplays optioned last year – I’m always working on something!:”

“I had a really fun part in Ethan Nestor’s new movie ‘I Have to Do This’;  playing his best friend Justin, in this hyper-stylized, insane, absurd world. I’ve started to do some voice acting as well, which is a whole new challenge.”