- Zac Efron stars as infamous American serial killer Ted Bundy in the movie “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile,” which premiered Sunday at the Sundance Film Festival.
- Efron told Variety that he did cardio exercises and used a stationary cycle every morning for an hour in order to achieve the “wiry” physique that Bundy had in the ’70s.
- He also lost 13 pounds by avoiding carbs and relying on a plant-based diet.
- In addition, the actor wore fake teeth for his bottom row, spoke to people who knew Bundy, and spent two weeks in an abandoned prison.
The movie, which also stars Lily Collins as Liz Kloepfer (Bundy’s girlfriend), just premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah. While discussing the film, Efron said that he underwent a “rather large transformation and lifestyle change” to achieve a similar physique to Bundy, who confessed to murdering 30 women across several states.
“Guys in the ’70s have that wiry kind of thin look,” Efron told Variety. “Ted was always kind of a little bit gaunt. He always looked pretty tired.”
To shed weight, the actor turned to cycling and cardio exercises.
“I have a road bike that I ride around, well, everywhere,” he told Variety. “I put that on a stationary trainer and every morning, I would get up and cycle on that for an hour and watch something episodic like ‘Ozark.’ I wasn’t eating carbs. I kind of just trimmed down a lot and really controlled my diet.”
Efron added that he spent about two weeks in the abandoned prison where he filmed a nude scene for the movie. In addition, he wore fake teeth to look more similar to Bundy.
“Our top teeth were very similar,” he told Variety. “I had a lot of similarities with Ted that were a little bit unnerving.”
“Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile” tells Bundy’s story primarily through the lens of Kloepfer, so Efron and Collins spoke with people who knew Bundy prior to his execution in January 1989. Efron also watched footage of Bundy during his trials.
“Something clicked pretty early on, and it was kind of scary,” Efron told Variety. “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.”
Since the trailer was released, many people have criticised the film for glorifying and romanticizing a brutal murderer. According to Efron, “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile” will look at Bundy from a psychological perspective.
“I feel a responsibility to make sure that this movie is not a celebration of Ted Bundy,” Efron told Variety. “Or a glorification of him. But, definitely, a psychological study of who this person was. In that, there’s honesty.”
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