As actress Lily Collins prepared to play the girlfriend of one of the most notorious serial killers for the anticipated new Netflix film "Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile," she believed she was receiving help from the beyond.
Alongside Zac Efron as Ted Bundy, Collins portrays Elizabeth Kloepfer, Bundy's long-time girlfriend who struggled with the idea that her lover could be a killer. While getting ready for the emotional and complicated role, Collins found herself waking up every night at 3:05 a.m.
“I started being woken up by flashes of images, like the aftermath of a struggle," Collins said in an interview with The Guardian. “I discovered that 3 a.m. is the time when the veil between the realms is the thinnest and one can be visited.”
Collins told the site that she believed Bundy's victims may have been trying to get in touch with her — a sign that she was about to embark on an important journey.
“I didn’t feel scared – I felt supported. I felt like people were saying, 'We’re here listening. We’re here to support. Thank you for telling the story.'”
Collins even spent time with the real Kloepfer, director Joe Berlinger told Newsweek. The two looked through photo albums of the couple's time together, from boating trips to birthday parties. And Collins even read aloud letters Bundy had written to Kloepfer.
“For Lily, it was a really moving, incredible experience because she's never met with the living person of a character she's portrayed before," Berlinger said. "Liz immediately responded to her in a very positive way, which was important because if you've lived with Ted Bundy for seven years and realize you've been living with a serial killer, obviously that experience is going to make you withhold your trust.
"We knew it was important to not violate that trust, and to approach her in a way where she could trust us," Berlinger told the paper.
She also met Kloepfer's daughter, whom Bundy cared for as a stepfather.
Bundy is thought to have murdered at least 30 women during his reign of terror in the 1970s. He would often approach the women while faking an injury and disability, and then he would assault them. During his killing spree, Bundy dated Kloepfer on and off for several years. However, he also dated other women at the same time, including Carol Ann Boone. He married Boone in 1979 in court while she testified in his trial. She gave birth to their daughter in 1981.
Bundy was executed in January 1989.