Clark Collis
November 02, 2017 AT 10:47 AM EDT

Actress Anne Heche has repeatedly shown off her dramatic acting chops in films like Donnie Brasco, Birth, Rampart, and, most recently, Catfight. So, it is not a huge surprise that writer-director Marc Meyers should cast her as the distant, troubled mother of future serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer in the film My Friend Dahmer (out Nov. 3). More of a shock? That Meyers cast Disney star Ross Lynch (Austin & Ally, Teen Beach Movie) as the titular murderer-in-the-making. Heche, however, says she couldn’t have been happier about Meyers’ choice.

“I have children, so I was a fan of Ross’, and I just think he’s one of the most talented singers and dancers,” explains the actress. “[Ross gives] such a full performance and such a true performance. I was blown away by his ability to do that and to transform. It didn’t surprise me. You can’t be as talented as he is in all of his Disney films without being able to access this part. So, I wasn’t surprised, but I was awed by it. I would get so upset that I would have to treat him so badly! [Laughs] I just can’t wait ’til I do a movie with him where I get to play the mother that he deserves to have. [Laughs] We have become very close friends and we went to a very very dark dark place.

“One of the things I find most kind of incredible — my hair and makeup team, we created the wigs, the look, and I sent [the production] pictures, because the day after I arrived, I needed to be shooting, so I needed them to approve everything that was happening before I arrived. So, I took pictures of her behavior, her body language, just how I wanted her to be, so that Marc felt confident that we could shoot. I got a call from the costume designer after Marc had given her the pictures, and she said, ‘You’re not going to believe this, you and Ross stand exactly alike.’ What’s so interesting is that, the darkest we got in our shame and in our self-loathing, it translated to our bodies being and looking the same in our posture. Isn’t that crazy? It was just one of those magical things.”

FilmRise Releasing

Watch the trailer for My Friend Dahmer, above.

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