Ted Bundy Inspired Blake Lee\u2019s Character on Cruel Summer<\/em>

Freeform’s latest hit series, Cruel Summer, has been dominating airwaves. If you’re unaware, the show follows the lives of two girls, Kate Wallis and Jeanette Turner, over a three-year period in the ‘90s. Wallis is kidnapped by vice-principal Martin Harris, and when she escapes, she accuses Jeanette of failing to report Kate’s captivity.

You would assume that the biggest storyline in this series is whether Jeanette knew about Kate’s captivity or not. But, rather, what’s more important—dare we say shocking—is Martin Harris, and how he methodically grooms Kate into becoming his perfect victim. Sounds almost like a real-life serial killer, right?

The Harris character is entirely fictional. But he’s inspired by real-life serial killers, hence some of these similarities. Blake Lee, who plays Harris in the series, revealed to E! News that watching numeous true-crime series, specifically The Ted Bundy Tapes, helped him get into character. “The thing I think I took from watching that documentary was seeing this guy, who repeatedly did the worst things and kept getting away with it for so long, and would kind of talk his way out of it,” he said. “People would be like, ‘Oh wait, it can’t be that guy. He’s the nicest, he’s handsome.'”

Other than Ted Bundy, Lee also watched Netflix’s kidnapping series, including Abducted in Plain Sight, to get a better idea of how his character can lure Kate into a false sense of safety.

And, while Lee said he loves playing Harris, he did admit that acting out as a serial killer is emotionally and mentally challenging. “We were dealing with really, really serious subject matters and so, you know, it was really heavy at times,” he said. “It was exhausting at times. It was very emotional.”

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