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In a clear effort to take big, big strides away from his Disney Channel roots, Zac Efron is playing serial killer Ted Bundy in the Netflix movie Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile. When news broke that pretty-boy Efron would be playing Bundy, people reacted with a mix of confusion and being all about it, because Zac Efron in anything is nothing to complain about. According to Cosmopolitan, Efron addressed the whole sexy serial killer thing before the movie drops this week, saying that he never intended to sex up a convicted murderer or make light of what he 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," he said during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. "This is an important thing for people to hear."
Critics called out Efron's clean-cut Bundy and the focus on his family life instead of the murders he committed. The trailer magnified the entire situation, since it positioned the movie like a romantic action film. But Cosmo adds that part of how Bundy managed to do what he did was thanks to his wholesome appearance. Efron elaborated on it, telling DeGeneres that Bundy used everything he had to his advantage, looks and charm included.
"Ted Bundy was a clean-cut, white dude, white person, so talk about white privilege," he added. "What he got away with back then, nobody would be able to do today."
It's all part of what drew Efron to the role and he added that during preproduction, he was soaking up as much Bundy information as possible. He mentioned that it was one of the only times he found it difficult to separate himself from his role, though with the cheerful banter on Ellen to his next project alongside Matthew McConaughey and Snoop Dogg in The Beach Bum, it looks like he's managed to get it all out of his system.
"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. I'd like to say that I did it successfully but I couldn't," Efron said.