When former Disney Channel teenage heartthrob Zac Efron signed on to play Ted Bundy, one question that may have popped up in some of our heads: “Why does Hollywood want me to be attracted to a serial killer?” If you look a little closer into the Bundy case that his new Netflix film Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, And Vile is telling, Efron’s casting may just be the perfect choice.
Before Ted Bundy was sent to death row in the ‘80s for the murder of over 30 women across the United States, his good looks and charisma were exact reason why his longtime girlfriend and the public were thrown off to his heinous crimes. The upcoming movie looks to be steering away from placing Bundy’s murderous actions front and center on screen, as it tells the tale through his girlfriend Liz’s perspective (played by Lily Collins) as she learns of his vile side.
During a recent visit to The Ellen Show, Zac Efron explained that the movie will not show Ted Bundy’s actions as inviting, contrary to the film’s early controversy. In his words:
The goal was a very challenging one and I'm thrilled that it turned out the way that it did. I am not into portraying a serial killer or anybody of this nature or glamorizing them in any way ... it does not glamorize the killing. This is an important thing for people to hear.
While Zac Efron has a shiny reputation for playing likable characters (who usually can sing), this is not one of them. The actor took a deep-dive into the movie’s character study of the infamous killer and even has recently opened up about the trouble he had separating himself from the role once he was off set.
Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, And Vile will act as a cautionary tale to those who easily trust people because they are easy on the eyes and know how to bring out the charm. Zac Efron told Ellen why he thinks the serial killer got away with so many crimes between 1974 and 1978 with these words:
Ted Bundy was a clean-cut, white dude, white person, so talk about white privilege. What he got away with back then, nobody would be able to do today.
The actor also touched on how this movie is perfect for the “world of swipe left and swipe right” many of us live in. So “hot Ted Bundy” is very much intentional and may challenge the ways in which we pass judgement on the people who commit crimes or don’t.
After premiering at Sundance earlier this year, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, And Vile was purchased by Netflix for $9 million and will hit the streaming site this Friday, May 3.