Ahead of the film's premiere at Sundance, the trailer was released for Joe Berlinger’s Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, with both the trailer and movie met with mixed reactions. The trailer itself was cut in a way that seemed to present Zac Efron‘s Ted Bundy in a charming light and tone.
In a recent chat with Variety, Efron revealed why he chose to take on the role and also touched upon the controversial tone.
“Initially, I had reservations about playing a serial killer,” Efron told the source. “This movie was really about a human being, somebody that perhaps I would have been friends with. And a love story from a very unique perspective. I’ve never seen that before. It’s intriguing to me. I think it’s more psychological and even more kind of a mindfuck.”
He continued, “I feel a responsibility to make sure that this movie is not a celebration of Ted Bundy. Or a glorification of him. But, definitely, a psychological study of who this person was. In that, there’s honesty.”
Speaking about his transformation from usually comedic roles into Ted Bundy, Efron explained, “Something clicked pretty early on, and it was kind of scary. It was that Ted and I had quite a bit in common in the way we carried ourselves. There are a few mannerisms. You can tell he’s a bit bashful. He’s kind of shy. He’s a well-spoken guy, but he hides his anxiety with a bit of a smile. I didn’t want to do too much of an impersonation.”
Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile also stars Haley Joel Osment, Kaya Scodelario, John Malkovich, and Jim Parsons.