Between Confessions with a Killer on Netflix and the premiere of Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile at the Sundance Film Festival, Ted Bundy is pretty much everything anyone is talking about right now. Despite dying 30 years ago, the serial killer is back on our screens and, once again, haunting our nightmares. In an interview at Sundance, actress Lily Collins, who stars in the movie opposite Zac Efron as Ted Bundy, revealed she couldn't sleep for a month during filming due to "visions of destruction."
In Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, Collins plays Liz Kendall. Liz Kendall is a pseudonym for Liz Kloepfer, who was Bundy's girlfriend at the time of his arrest. The film is told through her eyes. "I was so interested to get behind somebody that was silenced for so long," Collins told Variety. "[I wanted] to be able to tell a story from her perspective and give her a voice."
To prepare for her role, Collins met with Kloepfer onset and traveled to see her. During their time together, Kloepfer shared old photo albums and love letters Bundy had written her. Additionally, Collins researched the murders but intentionally avoided looking at any crime scene photos. "I did not look at any images before going into filming," she said. "I did not look at any body pictures because Elizabeth didn't believe it."
But, nevertheless, preparing for the role gave Collins nightmares. "I actually had an awful time in prep for it," she said. "I woke up every single night at 3 or 4 a.m. for a month. I was woken up with visions of destruction around rooms." She described scenes with logs and broken glass strewn everywhere. "There was never anyone in the dreams, but every night at the exact same time I would have these flashes of visions," she said.
The first time Collins saw an actual crime scene photo was prior to filming a particular scene which required an emotional response from her character. The director, Joe Berlinger, handed her the photos to help her get into the necessary headspace. Collins said she couldn't believe how much the actual crime scenes resembled her dreams. Talk about creepy.