Tyler Hoechlin is back and bigger than ever in Bigger, the new biopic about fitness aficionados Joe and Ben Weider (Hoechlin and Aneurin Barnard), who battled anti-Semitism and extreme poverty to create a bodybuilding empire that included the International Federation of BodyBuilders, magazines like Muscle and Fitness and Men’s Fitness and the Mr. Olympia competition. They also discovered a young Austrian hunk named Arnold Schwarzenegger, played by Calum von Moger in the bodybuilder biopic.
“The brothers’ story sets a powerful example of what hard work and extreme focus can achieve for the youth of today,” says producer Steve Lee Jones. “These brothers literally changed the world.”
Julianne Hough plays Joe’s wife and partner Betty Weider, while Hoechlin’s Teen Wolf co-star Colton Haynes appears as fitness legend Jack Lalanne, who opened the first health club in America in the 1930s. Schwarzenegger’s rival, the late Sergio Oliva, is played by his son, Sergio Oliva Jr, while bodybuilder Arash Rahbar appears as 1970s muscle icon Frank Zane.
In an Instagram post, Hoechlin called making the film “by far the most challenging thing I’ve taken on in my time working as an actor.”
“It’s a great story about a man who wasn’t afraid to be different, to pursue his passion, and who showed persistence in the face of adversity [and] the amazing woman standing next to him who showed him what love truly was,” Hoechlin says.
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Such a great night with my family and friends to celebrate all the hard work everyone put into this film! By far the most challenging thing I’ve taken on in my time working as an actor, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the effort and support from everyone on this set. Can’t wait for everyone (who wants to haha) to see this film. It’s a great story about a man who wasn’t afraid to be different, to pursue his passion, and who showed persistence in the face of adversity. Also about the amazing woman standing next to him who showed him what love truly was. And a special thank you to @juleshough for doing such a beautiful job portraying Betty, and always being present in every moment of telling the story of these people. Thank you Jules for making this movie what it is. Wouldn’t have worked without you. And to my brother @aneurin.b for playing my brother on screen, and also becoming one off set for the weeks we spent filming. I miss you Taff, you’re one of the good ones. Thanks everyone! #BiggerTheMovie October 12th! And per usual, to my friends at @johnvarvatos for making sure I didn’t show up in gym gear (which may have been appropriate for this one, who knows).
Bigger is directed by Midnight Run screenwriter George Gallo and written by Gallo and White Boy Rickwriter Andy Weiss. It also stars Victoria Justice, Tom Arnold, Steve Guttenberg, DJ Qualls, Kevin Durand, Max Martini and Robert Forster.
Hoechlin, meanwhile, will be going from one chiseled icon to another: He’s slated to return to the role of Superman in the upcoming CW superhero crossover between Supergirl, Arrow and The Flash in December.