Extremely Wicked: Zac Efron struggles to separate from Ted Bundy

The upcoming Netflix thriller Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile is only a week away. How did Zac Efron tackle playing serial killer, Ted Bundy?

We’re inching closer to the debut of Extremely Wicked, Shocking Evil and Vile, Netflix’s new biographical crime thriller about the infamous serial killer, Ted Bundy.

The film is slated for an early May release and with April winding down, star Zac Efron has begun doing the press rounds.

Many people were surprised by the casting of Efron as Ted Bundy. Most well-known for playing Troy Botlon in Disney’s High School Musical trilogy, it’s an understatement to say taking on the formidable role of America’s most charming murderer is a change of pace.

Though perhaps it’s not as dramatic a difference have some have implied. Efron has branched out far and away from his Disney roots over the years by starring in a number of hard R-rated comedies and a string of lesser-known dramatic films.

At this point, there may be just as many people who know him as Teddy from Seth Rogen’s Neighbors films as they do from Disney Channel. But he returned to his musical roots not too long ago with the crowd-pleasing P.T. Barnum musical, The Greatest Showman.

Still, Extremely Wicked is a major tonal shift from Efron’s regular projects. Never before has he been featured in a film with such dark subject matter. Not only was Bundy a serial killer but he was a serial rapist as well. In his period of activity, the infamous murderer is estimated to have had upwards of thirty different victims.

So how did Zac Efron go about getting into the mindset of someone who heinous?

During a recent press event for Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Vile and Evil, he spoke with a reporter from DailyMail about how difficult it was for him to shake off Ted Bundy even after they’d finished filming:

“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,” he said. “I’d like to say that I did it successfully but I couldn’t.”

Sounds like he had to do some serious introspection and research to get into the right mind-frame. It paid off too, as evidenced by many reviews of the film praising his performance.

Currently, Extremely Wicked is sitting at decent rating on RottenTomatoes with a majority of reviewers focusing specifically on the excellence of Efron’s dedication to the role. Could this be the first movie to garner him an official awards run?

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Extremely Wicked will tell Bundy’s story mostly through the eyes of his then-girlfriend, Elizabeth Kloepfer (played by Lily Collins) who was unaware of what her boyfriend was getting up to in his spare time.

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Vile and Evil will stream on Netflix beginning May 3rd.

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