How Zac Efron Kept The Ted Bundy Role From Affecting His Personal Life

Zac Efron

Zac Efron came to public attention thanks to the High School Musical movies and has been mostly known for comedies in recent years. His next role, however, is something very different. He'll be portraying serial killer Ted Bundy in the movie Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile. It's the sort of dark role that could potentially have had an impact on him outside of the set, but the actor says he left the role behind when he wasn't performing it, saying it wasn't necessary for him to try and inhabit the character in order to get the performance, so he left it all behind when he could. According to Efron...

I didn't take it home. I didn't go full method and I didn't have to like do any weird stuff to anybody to get into character. It's a different type of film.

We frequently hear of actors who "go method" in order to try and create the most authentic possible performance. They try to become the character they're playing as much as they possibly can. This frequently means trying to act like the character even when the cameras are not rolling and even only responding to the character's name rather than their own. Frequently this is done by actors who are playing a character that would be otherwise difficult to understand, so playing a serial killer could potentially qualify.

It seems that part of the reason that a deep dive into the psyche of Ted Bundy wasn't necessary was that the movie isn't simply about what the serial killer. Zac Efron tells ET that the movie is about how so many people were charmed by this man that was actually so evil. As such, the story isn't just about Bundy, but the rest of the world as well. The film is actually shot from the perspective of Ted Bundy's girlfriend, played by Lily Collins, somebody who refused to believe that Bundy was actually guilty for a long time. Also, it requires that Bundy come across as charming as well as disturbing.

It's very interesting. I think the movie itself is really deep. It doesn't really glorify Ted Bundy. He wasn't a person to be glorified. It simply tells a story and sort of how the world was able to be charmed over by this guy who was notoriously evil and the vexing position that so many people were put in, the world was put in. It was fun to go and experiment in that realm of reality.

Method acting or not, we'll certainly see a different side of Zac Efron when Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile arrives on screens. The movie is currently in post-production but is without a release date at this time. Keep reading CinemaBlend for news on when you'll be able to see it on the big screen.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.