Zac Efron Says New Ted Bundy Movie Doesn’t ‘Glamorize’ Bundy — It Highlights His White Privilege

(Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for IMDb)

Sara Malinow Contributor
Font Size:

Whether he’s singing his heart out or flashing his abs in basically every other movie he’s done since the “High School Musical franchise,” it’s hard for fans not to gush over Zac Efron.

But … that might change Friday when Netflix releases the long-awaited Ted Bundy biopic, “Extremely Wicked Shockingly Evil and Vile,” in which Efron portrays the notorious serial killer.

When the initial trailer dropped in January, some viewers began criticizing the film, saying Efron’s charming portrayal glamorizes Bundy, who murdered upward of 25 women in the 1970s. In the months since, Efron has addressed these criticisms and defended the film. (RELATED: Zac Efron Gets Sentimental About His Grandparents)

“I am not into portraying a serial killer or anybody of this nature or glamorizing them in any way … it does not glamorize the killing. This is an important thing for people to hear,” Efron said while on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” this week. “However, telling a very, very introspective, intelligent look and peek[ing] inside the mind of two specific people — Liz, his longtime girlfriend, who knew him better than anyone, and also … the general public who thought he was innocent.”

The film is told from the perspective of Bundy’s girlfriend, Elizabeth Kloepfer, who is played by actress Lily Collins. Efron said that this unique lens through which the story is told is meant to illustrate the white privilege(s) Bundy enjoyed.

“Ted Bundy was a clean-cut white dude — white person — so, talk about white privilege,” he said. “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 [the movie] does not glamorize the killing.”

The film, which was purchased by Netflix for $9 million, is set to release on May 3rd. So, it looks like we’ll have to wait until then to form our own opinions.