Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil & Vile's Cast Vs. Their Real Life Counterparts

Photo: Courtesy of NETFLIX.
Ever since news broke that Zac Efron would be playing Ted Bundy in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, true crime obsessives and Efron fans alike have been anticipating the biopic’s release. After premiering at Sundance surrounded by controversy over its romanticized depiction of Bundy earlier this year, the movie is now on Netflix. With a cast of new and familiar faces, Netflix's Bundy biopic tells the story of his killings through the eyes of his girlfriend at the time he was arrested, Elizabeth Kloepfer (Lily Collins).
One of the most infamous serial killers in history, Bundy is known to have killed at least 28 women, although it’s possible that he has had more victims that we are unaware of. He was tried for his crimes and executed via electric chair in January 1989, more than 20 years after his first known attack. Bundy dated and lived with Kloepfer and her daughter for years in the ‘70s as he continued to commit his crimes, and they carried on their correspondence after his arrest and during his ongoing trial.
Although Bundy’s story is a horrifying one, it’s also true. This means that the cast of Extremely Wicked matches up to real people. Here's who you see in the the movie and the real people they’re portraying from Bundy’s case.
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Photo: Courtesy of NETFLIX.

Lily Collins As Bundy's Girlfriend Liz

You might know Collins from her roles in To The Bone, and Mirror Mirror, but this one is a big departure for her. It’s hard to imagine what dating a serial killer is really like without being in that position yourself, so it makes sense that Collins would want to speak with the real Elizabeth Kloepfer in order to portray her accurately.

During an appearance on This Morning, Collins said she had the opportunity to meet Kloepfer, and said it was helpful in getting to the right headspace. “I went and met the woman that I play. It was really helpful. She was so gracious, giving me material to look at and speaking to me,” Collins said.

She also added that Kloepfer did visit the set of Extremely Wicked. “I don't know if she's going to see the movie because it's difficult, but within the filming process she came on set and she was a positive light on set,” she said. “You wouldn't expect that with what happened. She gave us her support. She's really lovely.”
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Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.

The Real Elizabeth Kloepfer

When Kloepfer first met Bundy in a Seattle bar in 1981, she was a divorced single mom. They embarked on a six year relationship, which she wrote about in her book, The Phantom Prince: My Life With Ted Bundy under the name Elizabeth Kendall — it's the book that Extremely Wicked is based on.

Kloepfer wrote that Bundy originally seemed committed to her and to her family, helping her with her daughter, Tina, and even baking a cake for Tina’s birthday and helping to plan her party, At one point, they even discussed getting married, but later, Bundy backed out. Eventually, Kloepfer became suspicious of Bundy and contacted police to share her concerns. After Bundy’s arrest, they still continued communicating via correspondence until he later married Carole Ann Boone while in prison.

Kloepfer is still alive today, although what she’s doing in 2019 is unknown. Her book is now out of print, and it seems she’s chosen to live her life out of the spotlight.
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Photo: Courtesy of NETFLIX.

Zac Efron As Ted Bundy

With roles in movies like The Greatest Showman, Neighbors, and of course, High School Musical under his belt, it’s hard to imagine Efron taking on a role as dark as playing Ted Bundy. But being that Bundy was said to be a handsome and charming man, it makes sense that someone like Efron could be a good fit for the gig (it's also why the film is so controversial). But according to what Efron told Variety in January, Efron also had to prep for Bundy. Although he said he could identify with Bundy in certain ways — he said that they “had quite a bit in common in the way we carried ourselves” — he also wanted to be careful to be sure that this film did not glorify him (critics seem to disagree that he was successful in avoiding that pitfall).

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

The Real Ted Bundy

November 24, 1946, Theodore Bundy was born to 22-year-old Eleanor Cowell, who was living in an unwed mother’s home in Vermont, according to Biography. At first, Bundy was raised by his grandparents and grew up believing that his mother was his sister, but later found out the truth. When he was older, he and his mother moved to Washington, where she met and married Johnnie Bundy. In 1972, Bundy graduated with a degree in psychology from the University of Washington and worked on the campaign of the state’s Republican governor.

Although it’s unknown when Bundy’s killings truly began, according to ABC News, Bundy's first confirmed crime was in February 1974, when he abducted and strangled 21-year-old Lynda Ann Healy from the University District of Seattle. Bundy went on to commit many crimes in the ‘70s, including murder, burglary, kidnapping, and grand theft auto. Some of the bodies of his victims were never recovered. Bundy has been the subject of many books, movies, and documentaries since his crimes were committed.
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Photo: Courtesy of NETFLIX.

Kaya Scodelario As Carole Ann Boone

If you watched Skins, you already know who Kaya Scodelario is — but that’s hardly the only role she has under her belt. Scodelario has also starred in The Maze Runner Series, and most recently, she signed on to play the lead role in Netflix’s upcoming TV series Spinning Out.

Scodelario is playing Carole Ann Boone in Extremely Wicked, a woman who fell in love with Bundy and ended up marrying him while he was in prison. She told Elle she did a lot of research into Boone to prepare for the role, including studying Boone’s interviews and photos.

“It's the first time I've played a character who may still be alive, or that at least existed once. For me, I really wanted to dig into that,” she said. “We managed to find some archival pictures of her doing interviews, because she was very vocal during the trial. She almost took on the role of his publicist.”
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The Real Carole Ann Boone

Carole Ann Boone is best known for being Bundy’s wife. They met while they were both working at the Washington State Department of Emergency Services in 1974 and hit it off, but it wasn’t until they reconnected in 1977 while Bundy was in prison in Utah. Boone visited him and they corresponded while he was locked up, and Bundy proposed to her in the courtroom, which made their marriage legal.

Bundy and Boone managed to sneak a conjugal visit and eventually, she gave birth to their daughter, Rose. But in 1986, Boone divorced Bundy and left Florida, and according to Inside Edition, she and her daughter have both changed their names.

It’s unknown what Boone and Rose are up to today.
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Photo: Courtesy of NETFLIX.
Jim Parsons As Florida Prosecutor Larry Simpson

Although Jim Parsons is certainly best known for his role as Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory, he’s also appeared in movies like Hidden Figures and Garden State. His role in Extremely Wicked is playing Florida prosecutor Larry Simpson, who was the real life lead prosecutor in the 1979 trial for the murders of Margaret Bowman and Lisa Levy.
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Photo: AP Photo/Pool.

The Real Larry Simpson

Talking to the Daily Business Review in January, Simpson called the Bundy trial a “once in a lifetime” case for him. At the time, he was 29 and had only been out of law school for four years, and attributed getting the case to being in the right place at the right time.

“The Bundy case was really a deep dive into forensic science,” Simpson explained. “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.”

Now, Simpson is retired, occasionally working on cases at home and often traveling with his wife and spending time with his grandchildren.
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Photo: Courtesy of NETFLIX.

John Malkovich As Judge Edward D. Cowart

John Malkovich is another big name in the Extremely Wicked cast. He’s probably best known for Being John Malkovich, In The Line of Fire, and Dangerous Liasons, but most recently, he starred as Grigor Andolov in Billions. Now, he’s taking on the role of Judge Edward D. Cowart, the real life Florida judge who sentenced Ted Bundy to death in 1979.
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Photo: AP Photo.

The Real Judge Cowart

The real Judge Cowart is the one who is responsible for the title of the movie. After he sentenced Bundy, he gave a closing statement, which is often criticized for being too sympathetic.

"The court finds that both of these killings were indeed heinous, atrocious and cruel and that they were extremely wicked, shockingly evil and the product of design to inflict a high degree of pain and utter indifference to human life,” Cowart said. “It is ordered that you be put to death by a current of electricity, that that current be passed through your body until you are dead."

Judge Cowart passed away at age 62 after suffering a heart attack in 1987, two years before Bundy was executed.
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Photo: David Buchanan/Shutterstock.

Grace Victoria Cox As Carol Daronch

Grace Victoria Cox is best known for her roles in Under The Dome and, most recently, playing Victoria Sawyer in the TV reboot of Heathers.

This time around, she’ll be playing Carol Daronch in Extremely Wicked, who is, in fact, a real person. She was pivotal in turning the tides against Bundy, so in a way, she's basically a hero.
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Photo: AP Photo/Pool.

The Real Carol Daronch

Few women managed to survive Bundy’s attacks, and Carol Daronch is one of them. As People pointed out in a recent interview with Daronch, in November 1974, Bundy approached Daronch at a mall, impersonating a police officer and acting as if her car had been broken into. Once they were both inside Bundy’s car, he tried to handcuff her, pulling out a crowbar and a gun and drove about a half mile away from the mall, but Daronch was able to escape.

At just 19 years old, Daronch confronted Bundy in court when she testified against him as he was tried for aggravated kidnapping. She participated in Netflix’s The Ted Bundy Tapes, and now, she is 62, living in Salt Lake City with her partner of 15 years, Michael, and has a 28 year old son named Levi.

“Even reliving it now, I’m not entirely comfortable,” Daronch told People. “I enjoy my anonymity — when I have it. I also realize that it is an important story to tell, and if someone can benefit in a positive way from it, then that’s what I want.”
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Photo: Courtesy of NETFLIX.

Haley Joel Osment As Jerry

Chances are good you’re probably already pretty familiar with Haley Joel Osment, who’s had some pretty legendary roles in movies like The Sixth Sense, although more recently, he can be seen in Silicon Valley and The X-Files. Now, he’s playing Jerry in Extremely Wicked, who, according to Indiewire, “seeks the affection of Collins’ character as Bundy’s legal woes mount.” It’s not known if Jerry has a real life counterpart.
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Photo: Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images.

Angela Sarafyan As Joanna

Although Angela Sarafyan has had roles in shows like American Horror Story and The Good Guys, you probably know her best for playing Clementine Pennyfeather in Westworld. In Extremely Wicked, she’s playing Joanna.

It’s unclear if this role has a real life counterpart, but according to Deadline, Joanna is one of Elizabeth’s closest friends who “acts as a support system for Elizabeth and is the reason she starts to finally question Bundy’s intentions.”

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