Zac Efron Says That His Mental Health Was ‘Put To The Test’ Playing Ted Bundy

'I’ve never played a role in which I have to separate myself. It was almost impossible.'

Zac Efron Lily Collins

by Bonnie McLaren |
Updated on

Zac Efron has said that playing the part of serial killer Ted Bundy affected his mental health, as he struggled to separate himself from the role. Efron - perhaps best known for the role of Troy in High School Musical - plays Bundy, who was believed to have killed more than 30 women in the 70s, in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil And Vile, which is out in cinemas next month.

Speaking to about about how he was able to limit the mental toll at the European premiere, the star said, ‘That was put to the test for this one. I’ve never played a role in which I have to separate myself. It was almost impossible. I would like to say I did that successfully, but I couldn’t.’

The film is told from the perspective of Bundy’s long term girlfriend Elizabeth Kloepfer (played under the name of Liz Kendall by Lily Collins) - but it has faced widespread criticism for appearing to glorify Bundy, by, as Grazia said in January, choosing 'a teen heart throb to play the serial killer.'

‘I wasn’t interested in playing a serial killer,’ Zac also told Metro. ‘I’m not in the business of glamourising such a horrendous person or his acts. But there is something unique about the way going into the psyche of Ted and his longtime girlfriend Liz, it’s a different perspective and not your run-of-the-mill serial killer, cliche, bodycount gets higher and higher and “oh the guy you always knew did it” [film]. It was what it was like to be there on the day.’

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil And Vile is released in UK cinemas and Sky Cinema on 3 May.

READ MORE: Yes, There Is Something Weird About Zac Efron Playing Ted Bundy

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us