A Deleted Iron Claw Scene Would Have Stripped Fritz Of His Tough Exterior

In an interview with Variety, McCallany described a cut scene that showed a softer side to his character:

“After my son Mike develops toxic shock syndrome and falls into a coma […] Fritz goes into the chapel to have a conversation with God, saying, ‘What did I ever do to deserve to be visited with such tragedy in my family?’ It’s not long, but it was powerful. [Director] Sean [Durkin] determined the scene would be eliminated. I fought for it but lost that battle.”

This wasn’t the only one of Fritz’s scenes to be cut; for the sake of keeping the movie focused, a ton of other real-life details had to be cut or glazed over. It was “difficult” for McCallany, as he had a lot of sympathy for Fritz and pushed for the movie to treat him in a slightly more nuanced light. “I wanted the audience to understand Fritz is a tremendously complex man,” he said. “There was a vulnerable side. When his wife left him after 40 years of marriage, he was bereft and died a few years later.”

The divorce was also never mentioned in the movie, nor were there any scenes where Fritz’s softer side won out. His vulnerability was instead shone in smaller, subtler moments, which audiences have to look for under his constant gruff exterior. It’s a sensible choice considering that Kevin (Zac Efron) is the main character; when he attacks his father after Kerry’s death, it’s supposed to be a cathartic moment of built-up righteous anger. It’s also more dramatically effective since our view of Fritz has mostly been limited to Kevin’s perspective.

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