Zac Efron on filming Ted Bundy Biopic: "I almost had a mental breakdown"

Danny Thompson
Contributor
LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 24: Zac Efron and Lily Collins attend the “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile” European premiere at The Curzon Mayfair on April 24, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage)

Zac Efron has revealed the sheer talent of one of his co-stars almost gave him a ‘mental breakdown’ while filming his latest movie.

Efron plays serial killer Ted Bundy in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile, and in an interview with ET Online, the former High School Musical idol has praised the acting ability of co-star Lily Collins, which left him feeling inadequate.

Read more: Zac Efron on Ted Bundy’s ‘white privilege’: A person of colour couldn’t have gotten away with any of those things

The actor said:  “The first day of filming, I’ll never forget – It’s freezing cold in Kentucky, I smell like a thrift shop because my clothes were all from the ’60s and I was just getting used to walking in this style. I walk in and I know my lines, I’m ready for the day and it was the first warm-up scene, and Lily was ready to go right then at rehearsal, perfect.

LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 10: Lily Collins attends the EE British Academy Film Awards at Royal Albert Hall on February 10, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage )

“Gave a perfect performance on the rehearsal, and I literally walked outside and I almost had a mental breakdown.

“I was like, ‘We didn’t even get to rehearse and Lily is going for awards already?’

“She’s so good! And I just sat at home and said, ‘Zac, you gotta be better, you gotta be better, how can you do it?'”


Collins plays Liz Kloepfer in the film. Her memoir Phantom Prince, about the seven years she spent with Bundy, is what the movie is based on.

Talking to Sky News, Collins said of her character: “She had no idea what he was doing. You read about these cults and you can read about women that know what’s going on and yet they still love whoever is involved.

(Original Caption) Close up of Theodore Bundy, convicted Florida murderer, charged with other killings.

“In my opinion there’s a big difference between that type of character and Liz, who was completely blind to everything that was going on.

“She loved this man wholeheartedly, did not believe in any of the crimes that he was committing.”

Read more: Zac Efron reveals “‘Ferris Bueller’ changed my life”

It was evidence that came out in the televised trial that Collins believes finally allowed Liz to realise Bundy’s guilt.


“Ted was good to her daughter. It felt like the right family for her until the very end when that court case was being televised and she was privy to information that she had not been before.

“That’s when doubt struck in. Before that she was just a woman in love with a man.”