A few days ago the trailer for Joe Berlinger’s Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile paved the way for the film’s premiere at Sundance, and both trailer and movie proved quite polarizing. Of particular note, the trailer was cut together with an odd tone, one that seemed to present Zac Efron‘s Ted Bundy in a positive, charming light.

What does Efron himself have to say about all that? In a chat with Variety, Efron touched upon why he took on the role, while also sharing thoughts on the controversial tone.

“Initially, I had reservations about playing a serial killer,” Efron told the site.

“This movie was really about a human being, somebody that perhaps I would have been friends with. And a love story from a very unique perspective. I’ve never seen that before. It’s intriguing to me. I think it’s more psychological and even more kind of a mindfuck.”

Efron continued, “I feel a responsibility to make sure that this movie is not a celebration of Ted Bundy. Or a glorification of him. But, definitely, a psychological study of who this person was. In that, there’s honesty.”

Speaking about his transformation from Zac Efron into Ted Bundy, the former Disney star noted during the interview, “Something clicked pretty early on, and it was kind of scary. It was that Ted and I had quite a bit in common in the way we carried ourselves. There are a few mannerisms. You can tell he’s a bit bashful. He’s kind of shy. He’s a well-spoken guy, but he hides his anxiety with a bit of a smile. I didn’t want to do too much of an impersonation.”

The film is told from the point of view of Bundy’s former girlfriend Elizabeth Kloepfer (Lily Collins), set during the multi-year period that Bundy hid his murder spree from her.