Zac Efron’s mom was ‘terrified’ after hearing he’d play Ted Bundy

Zac Efron‘s mom’s reaction to the possibility of him playing Ted Bundy “sealed the deal” for him to take the part.

“I’ve never seen my mom like that before,” Efron, 31, recalled to the crowd at BMCC Performing Arts on Thursday following an early screening of his Bundy film, “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile,” during the Tribeca Film Festival. “She was so scared, she was terrified.”

“Then I became curious as to who he was,” he said. Efron mentioned that he’d seen multiple scripts for a film profiling the serial killer’s horrific murdering spree throughout the 1970s, but was drawn to director Joe Berlinger’s version, as the story was told through the eyes of Bundy’s girlfriend Liz Kloepfer, played by Lily Collins.

“Everyone was like, ‘Hey when are you going to do a grown-up role?’ [and] I don’t want to do necessarily ‘grow up’ by doing something grotesque,” he explained. “I think what would be even cooler is to be honest, because this is what really happened, this is a story of the most notorious, evil, scumbag killer of women.”

Chatting on stage alongside Berlinger, Collins and co-stars Haley Joel Osment and Angela Sarafyan, the group explained that Kloepfer and her daughter visited the cast and met with Collins, showing her old photographs and love letters from Bundy himself.

“Her knowing this is being made is so difficult and so sensitive but she was so helpful and instrumental in [the movie] being told and told this way,” Collins said. “I never dreamed she would want to meet me let alone kind of sign off on me.”

“It was tremendous having her blessing,” Efron added. “For all of us.”

“Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile,” was released on Friday on Netflix.

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