Zac Efron has defended himself against accusations that his new film glamorises serial killer Ted Bundy.
The film, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, sparked outrage in January, when its first trailer appeared to show Bundy as a Wolf of Wall Street-style antihero.
Now, he’s responded to those criticisms in an interview with Ellen DeGeneres.
Ellen is not a tough interviewer and she lets Efron give his take without much questioning.
When asked about the film, he said:
“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 glamorising them in any way… What he got away with back then, no-one would be able to do today. It’s a moment in time that came and passed and is truly scary… but it does not glamorise the killing.”
Efron insisted that the film tells the story of Bundy – who confessed to murdering 30 women and is thought to have killed more – from the perspective of his longtime girlfriend Elizabeth Kloepfer who is played by Lily Collins in the film.
That, Efron claimed, explains why the film looks like it takes a favourable view of Bundy.
The controversy around the film was mainly caused by its first trailer, which with its blues-rock soundtrack and edgy tone definitely looked like it was glamorising him.
Many people argued that the tone was insensitive to the women who were killed by Bundy and completely inappropriate for a film about a serial killer.
As long as this film portrays the bastard Bundy as the narcissistic sociopath he was, I may actually go see this film. If they idolize and make him to be some sort of misjudged product of society…well it can. Hell in with the man it’s based on. 🤨
— Bad Muggles (@Bad_Muggles) January 25, 2019
They portrayed Ted Bundy as a charming, charismatic, handsome man in “extremely wicked shockingly evil and vile” trailer BECAUSE THATS WHAT HE //WAS// they aren’t trying to trick or lead anyone astray they are telling A STORY you people exhaust me .
— trash|endgame spoilers (@emmastvnes) January 27, 2019
I once worked with someone at American Express in Salt Lake City who was asked out by Ted Bundy. She declined, of course, or else I wouldn’t have known her! https://t.co/DCT3wB7vhZ
— Thomas Palmer (@ThosPalmer) April 29, 2019
The film is set to release on Netflix on May 3.