Over the course of his 20-year-plus acting career, Corin Nemec has played his share of psychotic characters, including some very well-known serial killers.
So he knows how to get inside the heads of those people, as well as a way to get them out of his head later.
"You can immerse yourself into the personality of a killer all you want. But you have to stop being that person once the cameras stop rolling," he explained in a telephone interview from Hollywood.
"Otherwise, it's a very unhealthy thing to do to yourself," Nemec said. "Playing someone with a murderous side can be very damaging to your psyche."
Most recently, the 37-year-old actor played Ted Bundy, in the psychological horror movie "Bundy: A Legacy of Evil." (The DVD will be released July 21.)
Bundy was a mass murderer whose cross country killing spree during the mid-to-late 1970s included murders in the state of Utah.
He escaped imprisonment in Colorado, but was eventually caught — and he was executed for his crimes in Florida in 1989.
Given how high-profile and how horrific the Bundy case was — and how many victims and families were involved — Nemec said he felt a responsibility to do the story justice and not in a "sensationalistic" fashion.
"We had the utmost respect and sympathy for the families of those who were killed," he said.
In fact, Nemec insists that both he and screenwriter/director Michael Feifer researched Bundy's background extensively.
"We wanted to make something that was as accurate and as truthful as possible," he said. "That's the best tribute we could do for everyone involved."
According to Nemec, research reveals that Bundy was a child of incest, as well as someone whose bravado was masking a deep insecurity.
"He acted cocky and self-assured, but in reality Ted Bundy was a scared little (bleep)," Nemec said. "There was nothing courageous about him at all."
The filmmakers even re-create a scene in which Bundy passed out while he was being led to the execution chamber.
Also, Nemec said the films he's made lately don't glorify what Bundy — or in an earlier movie, Chicago mass murderer Richard Speck — did.
"They don't deserve to be seen as heroes, anti-heroes or anything positive. These were very sick people," said Nemec, who is baffled by America's continuing fascination with serial killers.
"These sorts of lurid, stories are splashed all over the media" he said, sighing.
"I guess there's a certain part of us that is fascinated by the worst possible news," he said. "And I guess we wonder what can make a seemingly normal person do such horrible things."
Still, the films did give Nemec a steady paycheck. It also allowed him to appear alongside iconic horror actors Andrew Divoff (1997's "Wishmaster"), Kane Hodder (the "Friday the 13th" films) and Tony Todd (the "Candyman" movies).
"I've gotten to meet some of my horror movie heroes," he said, chuckling.
But Nemec has done more throughout his career than just appearing in horror genre projects.
When he was a teenager, he starred in the television series "Parker Lewis Can't Lose" (which is also being released on DVD).
"I still get a lot of positive comments on that show," Nemec said.
And he's recently formed a production company, with another former child star, David Faustino ("Married …With Children").
"We've got a lot of exciting things in development," he said, noting that they're trying to bring their Web-based program "Star-ving" to broadcast television.
That show depicts both Faustino and Nemec as down-on-their-luck has-beens, which is apparently an exaggeration.
"I'm just lucky to have been working in this industry for this long, and have met a lot of great people along the way," Nemec said.