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Is...Is That James Hetfield? With Zac Efron?

By Petr Knava | Film | January 10, 2019 |

By Petr Knava | Film | January 10, 2019 |


James ‘Papa Het’ Hetfield, the front man of Metallica, he of the most reliable right hand in history, has changed a fair bit over the years. In the collective mind’s eye of most Metallica fans, James usually appears to us looking a bit like this:



But the passage of time is implacable, and it catches up with us all, no matter how fast we might be able to play ‘Battery’. Yes, even if we just use down strokes. So nowadays James looks more like this:


I mean, it’s not ‘89 but he still looks alright. Metal enough. And then there’s this:

View this post on Instagram

#Repost @joeberlingerfilms ・・・ A special day on set of our little Bundy movie starring @zacefron and @lilyjcollins… Metallica is in the house as @papa_het_ plays Officer Bob Hayward in his first dramatic role. Having one of my musical heroes in our film is pretty damn awesome. ・・・ Photo by @brian_douglas_stills

A post shared by Metallica (@metallica) on


That’s Papa Het. Playing a cop (!) in the Zac Efron-plays-Ted-Bundy-holy-shit-that-makes-a-lot-of-sense movie, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile. Interestingly, Extremely Wicked is being directed by Joe Berlinger, the bloke who co-directed Some Kind of Monster, the pretty damn great 2004 Metallica-in-crisis-and-group-therapy documentary. Apart from that and the pseudo-concert film Through The Never this is Hetfield’s first starring role in a feature film.

I’m torn on the ethics involved in making movies about real life serial killers. There are a fair few wrinkles of nuance that need unpacking and considering. But it’s Thursday and I’m not gonna get into that right now. Instead I’ll just pivot to posting one of my favourite (non-Iron Maiden, natch) live clips of all time. Enjoy (and sorry if you get drug tested in your workplace because I’m afraid you now have a tremendous amount of cocaine in your system):

Look at that right hand go!


Petr is a staff contributor. You can follow him on Twitter.

Image sources (in order of posting): Instagram, YouTube, Getty Images

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