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Ross Lynch is leaving his Disney Channel stardom behind for a much more sinister role. 

The 21-year-old actor, who got his start on Austin & Ally, stars as serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer in the film, My Friend Dahmer. Based on graphic novel of the same name, the biographical drama explores Dahmer's teenage years just prior to when he began his killing spree. 

So how did Ross prepare to play one of history's most notorious figures? Well, it all started with research. During today's appearance on E!'s Daily Pop he shared, "Thankfully we live in the 21st century and you can find out so much about anybody on the internet. There's so much to learn about Dahmer."

My Friend Dahmer, Ross Lynch

FilmRise

Lynch said in addition to reading articles and watching interviews with Dahmer, he even met with classmates of the man who was sentenced to 15 consecutive life sentences for murdering and mutilating 15 different men and boys between 1978 and 1991. 

"I met a lot of the people that went to high school with him, because that's where our story takes place," he shared. "The author of the book went to high school with him. I met a lot of the guys that knew him in high school and knew this time in his life."

When asked if Dahmer's peers could have predicted his criminal future, Lynch revealed, "There's always that strange kid, but to be honest no one thought it was Jeffrey. When they found out that someone from their high school had gone on to become a serial killer, none of them guessed Jeffrey."

For more from Lynch, including why he chose this particular project to break away from Disney, press play on the video above!

My Friend Dahmer is in theaters now. 

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