Zac Efron reveals it was 'impossible' to separate himself from Ted Bundy role
Zac Efron has revealed the extent to which he immersed himself into the role of serial killer Ted Bundy in the new Netflix film, saying it was "impossible" to separate himself from the character.
Speaking to reporters at the London premiere of Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, the actor admitted that, while taking on the persona of the character they're portraying is part of an actor's job, for him, it became difficult to separate Zac Efron from Ted Bundy.
Here's the trailer for the film Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile:
"I’ve never played a role in which I really have to separate myself from when I go home at night and it was almost impossible," Efron explained, before adding slightly ominously: "I’d like to say that I did it successfully but I couldn’t."
"I really wasn’t interested in playing a serial killer, I’m not in the business of glamorising a horrendous person or his acts, but there is something unique about the way we went into the psyche of Ted, and his longtime girlfriend Liz [played by Lily Collins in the film].
"It’s a different perspective and not your run-of-the-mill serial killer cliché, body count gets higher and higher and oh the guy you always knew did it, did it. This is what it was like to be there on the day, we didn’t know if he was innocent or guilty, we just saw Ted Bundy through their eyes."
It sounds like an intense process for the Netflix film, and Extremely Wicked's director Joe Berlinger even confessed that the actor, known for roles on High School Musical and Baywatch, was initially a bit reluctant to take on the role.
"It’s a dark subject matter," Berlinger explained, saying that because of his teen heartthrob status, Efron was perfect to portray the notoriously handsome serial killer.
"It’s a kind of cliché where you take someone who was seen as a teen idol, a teen star, and you put him a dark role. So he wanted to make sure that it wasn’t gratuitous," he said. "He [Ted Bundy] was able to manipulate the criminal justice system, so casting somebody like Zac was the perfect way for me as a documentarian who looks for something real to bring into the movie. Now if he didn’t have the acting chops you could say that it was a stunt, but he has amazing acting skills and he did such a fantastic job."
Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile is set to debut on Netflix on May 3.