Zac Efron has responded to claims that he is glamourising Ted Bundy in the upcoming movie Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil And Vile.
- Read more: Conversations With A Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes is a terrifying but flawed insight into a monster’s mind
The star, who has been praised for his job portraying the serial killer since the film’s premiere at Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, had previously described the movie as a look at “how the world was able to be charmed by this guy who was notoriously evil.”
During an appearance on Ellen, Efron again denied that the aim of the film was to glamourise Bundy and his actions. After host Ellen DeGeneres pointed out the movie is from his girlfriend Elizabeth’s (played by Lily Collins) perspective and shows why people thought he was innocent, the actor replied: “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 glamourising them in any way. However, telling a very, very intelligent, introspective look inside the mind of two specific people, [Bundy and] Liz – his longtime girlfriend who knew him better than anyone, and also, as well as the general public, thought he was innocent.”
Efron added that Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil And Vile also explores Bundy’s white privilege. “Ted Bundy was a clean-cut, white dude, white person, so talk about white privilege,” he explained. “What he got away with back then, nobody would be able to do today. It’s a moment in time that came and passed and is truly scary. But it does not glamourise the killing. This is an important thing for people to hear.”
He continued: “Another interesting thing is that he did crave certain things – he did have a longterm girlfriend. Do sociopaths who, in theory, are only looking out for themselves or are maladjusted to other people’s feelings, do they not have personal needs? Do they not have things that they want, that they desire? Is love not one of those things? So, it’s another interesting look.”
Director Joe Berlinger also responded to criticism that the film “glorifies” the killer earlier this year, calling the comments “very naive.”
“I think the idea of this particular story, making a movie about Bundy, equals glorification of him is a very naive and knee-jerk reaction,” he said. “If you actually watch the movie, the last thing we’re doing is glorifying him. He gets his due at the end, but we’re portraying the experience of how one becomes a victim to that kind of psychopathic seduction.”
Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil And Vile will be released on Netflix on May 3.