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Zac Efron isn’t the only member of Netflix’s Extremely Wicked Ted Bundy cast to look like the real people they’re playing. In fact, the film—whose full title is Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, Vile, based on the quote that Judge Edward Cowart told Ted Bundy in 1979—was so well-cast that its actors, specifically Efron, earned rave reviews when the film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January. Now, less than a month before the film debuts on Netflix, fans are wondering who plays the characters in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, Vile and how much they look like the real people they’re portraying.
As many know, Extremely Wicked follows the life and murder trial of Ted Bundy, an American serial killer in the 1970s who confessed to killing more than 30 women. Bundy was known for his charm and good looks, which is how he often lured women and earned their trust. The film stars several recognizable faces, including Efron, and was criticized for the light tone of its original trailer. Now that the second and official trailer is out, the film looks full-on eery and a must-watch for viewers of Netflix’s Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes. Learn more about the cast of Extremely Wicked and who they’re playing ahead.
Zac Efron as Ted Bundy
Efron stars as Ted Bundy, an American serial killer who confessed to murdering 30 women between 1974 and 1978. Known for his charm and good looks, Bundy would use his charisma lure women to secluded locations, where he would overpower them, assault them and eventually murdered them. For 12 of his victims, Bundy decapitated them and kept their severed heads as mementos in his apartment. He was executed in the electric chair in 1989. Since Extremely Wicked‘s premiere in January, Efron has been praised for his performance and eery resemblance to Bundy. “He’s startlingly good: controlled, magnetic, audacious, committed, and eerily right. With his hair grown out into a sort of Bert Convy ‘do, Efron looks the part just fine,” Variety wrote.
Lily Collins as Elizabeth Kloepfer
Collins plays Elizabeth Kloepfer, Bundy’s girlfriend from 1969 to 1976. Kloepfer, a divorcee, was a secretary at the University of Washington School of Medicine, where Bundy went to school. Kloepfer was the first to report Bundy to the police after witnesses described someone who looked like him acting suspicious toward women at a Washington lake, right before the disappearance and murder of several women. Kloepfer, who continued to have a relationship with Bundy through the police investigation, proved to be a key witness for authorities and fed them information.
Kaya Scodelario as Carole Ann Boone
Scodelario plays Carole Ann Boone, Bundy’s only wife, who met him while working at an office in Olympia, Washington. Even after Bundy’s arrest in 1975 for the kidnapping and assault of a 12-year-old girl, Boone continued to see Bundy and event gave him money for his escape. Throughout his trial, Boone continued to defend Bundy. The two even married through a loophole in the law during the trial, with Bundy proposing to Boone on the witness stand. Boone would later give birth to Bundy’s daughter, Rose, which she conceived while he was in prison.
Jim Parsons as Larry Simpson
Parsons plays Florida prosecutor Larry Simpson, who worked for the state’s attorney’s office in Tallahassee. Only four years after law school, Simpson was known for using forensic samples, such as bite marks, semen and hair fibers, in the case. “The Bundy case was really a deep dive into forensic science,” Simpson told Law.com. “Once you have your eyes open to that type of evidence, it’s extremely powerful in the court, and I really enjoyed working with it, learning about it and explaining it to a jury.”
John Malkovich as John Edward Cowart
Malkovich plays Judge Edward Cowart, the judge who presided over Bundy’s murder trial and imposed the electric chair death sentence on him. Malkovich is also known for sympathetic remarks toward Bundy after his sentencing. In his remarks, Cowart called Bundy’s actions “extremely wicked, shockingly evil, vile” which became the title of the movie. “The court finds that both of these killings were indeed heinous, atrocious and cruel. And that they were extremely wicked, shockingly evil, vile and the product of a design to inflict a high degree of pain and utter indifference to human life,” Cowart said, before telling Bundy to “take care” of himself.