Actor justified in taking gruesome role

Megan Garside

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Ever since Anthony Perkins hit the screen in Alfred Hitchcock’s classic “Psycho” the idea of attractive actors taking the role of notorious villains has caused huge controversy. Audiences feel huge discomfort in seeing their favourite actors play these barbaric roles. It is much easier to stomach your favourite cult classic when the slasher is being portrayed by someone utterly creepy, a handsome villain makes the movie harder to handle.

After the surprising trailer for the new ted Bundy inspired docufilm “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile” hit the internet, social media sites have inhabited uproar and concern over actor Zac Efron playing the infamous killer.

The issue does not lie with the fact that the killer is being portrayed on the big screen, but because such a popular, attractive actor is representing him. Twitter has been plagued with argument over the controversial rolling.

One user wrote, “I can’t unsee Zac Efron as Ted Bundy and it makes me so uncomfortable.”

People feel that showing Ted Bundy in a somewhat desirable light, somehow glorifies the villain and therefore disrespects and downplays the suffering of his real-life victims.

After Netflix released its docuseries, “Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes”, streamers have become obsessed with the 20th century killer. Now that Netflix has released plans for a movie starring everyone’s favourite high-school-musical star, people are worried that the casting might take away from the actual events, pouring red hot Hollywood glaze over real life tragedies.

The reaction is dramatic. Because Efron has always been cast in stereotypical dreamboat roles, the audience feels this will eulogize Bundy, but is this fair? Should attractive actors be limited to desirable roles and nothing else? We have seen this before, with fellow Disney star Ross Lynch playing the teenage murderer Jeffrey Dahmer in the 2018 movie, “My friend Dahmer” and with Evan peters playing the manipulative cult leader Charles Manson in, “American Horror story: Cult”.

These idyllic actors playing horrific killers does not seem to sit well with the public, but it is completely necessary. This is the whole point. Ted Bundy was a somewhat attractive man, this is how he initially lured his victims and charmed the police and the law. It is why he is such an interesting individual and why the movie is even being made. Audiences should give Efron a chance to prove himself and for once in his career rely on his talent rather than his looks to portray such a complex monster.

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