‘Extremely Wicked’s Zac Efron and Lily Collins on Bringing the Ted Bundy Story to Life

     May 4, 2019

With Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile now streaming on Netflix, we’re reposting my interview from the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.

One of the many films to world premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was director Joe Berlinger’s true crime drama Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile. The buzzed about film stars Zac Efron as the serial killer Ted Bundy and approaches Bundy’s story from the point of view of his longtime live-in girlfriend  Elizabeth Kloepfer, played by Lily Collins, during the years that he hid his crimes from her. John Malkovich stars as Judge Edward Cowart, who presided over the serial killer’s 1979 trial, and Jim Parsons plays Larry Simpson, the lead prosecutor in Bundy’s trial and the man who eventually put the grotesque serial killer behind bars. In addition, Kaya Scodelario looks like she’s disappeared in her role of Bundy’s mysterious ex-wife Carol Anne Boone. The film, written by Michael Werwie, also stars Haley Joel Osment.

Shortly before the world premiere I got to sit down with Zac Efron, Lily Collins, Haley Joel Osment, Angela Sarafyan and director Joe Berlinger at the Collider Studio located in the Kia Supper Suite in Park City. During the wide-ranging conversation, they talked about being able to premiere at Sundance, if Zac Efron debated taking on the role of a serial killer, balancing the line between fact and fiction when making a film based on a true story, which scenes they were nervous to shoot before filming began, how the film changed in the editing room, and more.


Image via Kia Motors

I’d also like to take a moment to give special thanks to our Collider Studio partner, the all new 2020 Kia Telluride, which was transporting filmmakers to our studio in celebration of the debut of the all new model, Kia’s first eight-passenger SUV that is several inches longer and wider than the brand’s award-winning Sorento.

Libations flowing at the Collider studio and parties were provided by LIFEWTR, Tequila Comisario, Sensi Tuscany Wines, Blue Moon Belgian White and Dragonfly Coffee Roasters. Food during the evening parties was provided by Greene St. Kitchen of Palms Casino Resort helmed by Chef Du Cuisine Lanny Chin. Brand partners also active during the day-part include mou, a luxury footwear and accessories line, and The Wild Immersion endorsed by Jane Goodall who was on-site with the world’s first ‘virtual reserve’.

Check out what they had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about.

zac-efron-lily-collins-extremely-wicked-shockingly-evil-and-vile-sundance Zac Efron, Lily Collins, Joe Berlinger, Haley Joel Osment, Angela Sarafyan:

  • What does it mean to be able to premiere the film at Sundance?
  • Lily talks about how the film tells her characters story and her relationship with Ted Bundy.
  • Did Zac debate taking on this role?
  • Haley and Angela talk about how they got involved and their thoughts on the script.
  • What did Joe learn in the editing room and how did early screenings impact the finished film?
  • Joe talks about balancing the line between fact and fiction when making a film based on a true story.
  • Which scene were they nervous to do before filming began?

Here’s the official Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile synopsis:

1969. Ted (Zac Efron) is crazy-handsome, smart, charismatic, affectionate. And cautious single mother Liz Kloepfer (Lily Collins) ultimately cannot resist his charms. For her, Ted is a match made in heaven, and she soon falls head over heels in love with the dashing young man. A picture of domestic bliss, the happy couple seems to have it all figured out … until, out of nowhere, their perfect life is shattered. Ted is arrested and charged with a series of increasingly grisly murders. Concern soon turns to paranoia—and, as evidence piles up, Liz is forced to consider that the man with whom she shares her life could actually be a psychopath.

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