Ted Bundy is one of the most infamous serial killers of all time. He brutally murdered more than 30 young women and girls, raping and torturing some of his victims. All the while he was committing these heinous acts, he was portraying himself to those close to him as a hard working and loving law student. However, he possessed much different qualities and looks than many serial killers before him, perhaps what led him to get away with his crimes for so long. His aptitude for deception is showcased in the new Netflix film, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, in which Bundy is portrayed by Zac Efron. Efron spoke out about how he managed to play a man so evil, according to Fox News.
The film stars both Efron and Lily Collins, who portrays Bundy’s former girlfriend Elizabeth “Liz” Kendall. Kendall, a young single mother, was charmed by Bundy and fell deeply in love with him. The movie shows her initial denial that the man she loved was guilty of the horrific acts he’d been accused of. While she initially stands by him, she eventually has to face the fact that Bundy is not the man she thought he was.
Efron is known for his wholesome Disney films and lighthearted roles. His part in this most recent film was unlike anything he’s done in the past. However, his handsome looks helped convey how Bundy utilized his own charm to literally get away with murder time after time again. Efron doesn’t discount just how evil Bundy really was. In an interview with Fox, Efron explains his desire to show the world just how vile this man was.
“Ted Bundy is a vile, vile human being. There is no part of this at all… I can’t express how much I loathe the man that this movie is about.
So how did Efron manage to put himself in the mindset of someone who was so much different than him in every way? He admitted it was a challenge, according to Entertainment Cheat Sheet.
“I’ve never played a role in which I have to separate myself. It was almost impossible. You have to be careful for your own emotions, your own safety. This is a movie that I didn’t go too method, I was able to compartmentalize myself and leave him on set, in the jail cell — most days.”
Not only was Bundy a white man, but he was clean cut and well educated. He didn’t look like someone who could commit murder. Efron emphasized that it is important to show the various sides of Bundy to show how white privilege and physical appearance allowed him to escape justice so many times.