True crime is definitely having a moment right now, and there's one notorious serial killer, in particular, that's drawn a considerable amount of fascination over the years. In the new film Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, Zac Efron plays Ted Bundy — the infamous serial killer active during the mid to late '70s. Efron recently spoke to Entertainment Weekly about what it was like to embody someone who committed all of those horrific crimes. Efron also revealed how he managed to decompress after filming each day.
As Efron was playing an actual, real-life murderer, it's natural to wonder how you recover and de-stress from a dark role like that. In Efron's case, he meditated. "I did breathing and meditation," he told EW, when asked how he decompressed during filming. The actor went on to explain,
"I think that’s the only way. I really love TM, transcendental meditation. I did TM on the way home. Not while driving [laughs], but when you’re shooting a movie one thing we can afford is a ride home, so on the way home I just do some TM and try to phase out of it. Really, you can’t ever really let go of all of it. There’s always a little bit of you that knows tomorrow you’re Ted."
So, what is TM, you wonder? Well, according to the official website for Transcendental Meditation, the TM technique "allows your active mind to easily settle inward, through quieter levels of thought, until you experience the most silent and peaceful level of your own awareness — pure consciousness."
Interesting, right? Definitely seems like a good way to decompress after playing a deranged serial killer in a major film. That kind of role would undoubtedly be super dark — so finding a little mental peace would be absolutely necessary.
Between 1974-1978, Bundy confessed to murdering a minimum of 36 women all across the United States, though, some experts believe that the actual body count might have been closer to 100, according to the Laredo Morning Times. He was sentenced to death in 1979 for the murder of two college students. Following his confession and subsequent conviction, Bundy was sentenced to the death penalty. He was executed by electric chair in 1989 at the age of 42.
Extremely Wicked focuses, primarily, on Bundy's personal life — the life he led with his long-time girlfriend Elizabeth Kloepfer (played by Lily Collins), who seemingly had no clue that he had become a serial killer who had been murdering women.
During an interview with Entertainment Tonight in March 2018, Efron described it by saying that, "It simply tells a story and sort of how the world was able to be charmed over by this guy who was notoriously evil and the vexing position that so many people were put in, the world was put in."
If you're interesting in checking it out, the movie will be released on May 3 — and, like Efron pointed out, meditation is an option afterward.