Zac Efron [VIDEO], the sweet boyish star of “High School Musical” and “Baywatch,” recently took the edge off his anticipated debut playing mass murderer Ted Bundy. He adopted a Pit Bull scheduled for euthanasia, saving a dog from lethal injection.

Perhaps this act of kindness will preserve the actor’s caring stud image, though Zac reportedly looks a lot like serial killer Ted Bundy when you compare pictures of the two. Fans would likely prefer Zac Efron's looks to Ted Bundy’s, but the resemblance is uncanny, as you can see below.

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(Let's just hope Zac did not go too far using the techniques of method acting in this role.)

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But Zac Efron is no Ted Bundy

Even so, Zac will play the infamous murderer of at least 35 victims in an as yet unreleased film called “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile.” Though not yet on the big screen, the film has captured the public’s attention, in part for the unlikely casting choice of Zac in the Bundy role.

Though Zac may have dipped into the darkness of his psyche to prepare for the role of a recreational killer, he appears to have remained true to his core identity as a caring, handsome lover of life. That may be the signal he sent to fans by adopting the doomed pit bull from a Los Angeles humane shelter. Zac Efron is playing a killer, but in real time, he saves doggie lives. But there are dangers yet for the youthful star.

Playing a villain is not without its risks

Jack Nicholson, who played The Joker in 1989's "Batman" revival, reportedly warned actor Heath Ledger about the danger of playing this iconic villain before Ledger took on that role in "The Dark Knight." Ledger reportedly slept only two hours per night while playing the psychopathic, mass-murdering clown. Shortly afterwards, Ledger unexpectedly passed away, and his experience playing The Joker has been implicated as playing a significant role in the young actor's early demise.

It is said that Ledger turned to prescription medicines to deal with the cognitive dissonance that followed his work as The Joker. Maybe Zac Efron is taking a different route: adopting a pit bull, saving the dog's life, and featuring this good deed on Instagram.

Zac Efron loves his pit bull, and that's good

Reports are that Zac adores his adopted pit bull, which he named Maca. This connection between man and animal may be sufficient to counteract any psychological damage caused by getting into Ted Bundy's head in order to play him convincingly. Like many serial killers, Ted Bundy's career began with witnessing or participating in the torture of animals. For Zac Efron, loving an animal, and saving that animal's life, may be a great way to move from the darkness into which he dipped to play this role and into the light of his true self.