Evan Peters stayed in character as Jeffrey Dahmer for months to prepare for role

31 October 2022, 18:01

Evan Peters opens up about playing Jeffrey Dahmer

By Katie Louise Smith

"I put weights on my arms... I wore the character shoes with lifts in them, his jeans, his glasses, I had a cigarette in my hand at all times."

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As controversial as the Netflix series is, viewers are in agreement that Evan Peters' portrayal of Jeffrey Dahmer in Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story is nothing short of brilliant. From the way he speaks to the way he walks, Evan did a stellar job. And it wasn't easy for him to do, either.

The American Horror Story actor previously explained that portraying Dahmer is the hardest role he's ever taken on, and that he worked hard with the production crew to be able to portray the murderer as authentically as possible.

Now, Evan and co-creator Ryan Murphy have explained just how far Evan went in order to portray Dahmer on-screen – and it involved staying in character for months.

READ MORE: Evan Peters took 2 years to recover after filming AHS: Cult says Ryan Murphy

Evan Peters stayed in character as Jeffrey Dahmer for months
Evan Peters stayed in character as Jeffrey Dahmer for months. Picture: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images, Netflix

Speaking during a panel reported by Variety on Saturday (Oct 29), Evan discussed how he stayed "in character" as Dahmer for months while the series was being in production, and during shooting.

During the four months of prep and six months of filming, Ryan Murphy revealed that Evan wore lead weights around his arms and lifts in his shoes in order to nail Dahmer's physicality (his gait, his posture, his mannerisms), and he "basically stayed in this character, as difficult as it was, for months."

Explaining his process, Evan said: "[Dahmer] has a very straight back. He doesn’t move his arms when he walks, so I put weights on my arms to see what that felt like. I wore the character shoes with lifts in them, his jeans, his glasses, I had a cigarette in my hand at all times."

"I wanted all this stuff, these external things, to be second nature when we were shooting, so I watched a lot of footage and I also worked with a dialect coach to get down his voice," Evan continued. "The way that he spoke, it was very distinct and he had a dialect. So I also went off and created this 45-minute audio composite, which was very helpful. I listened to that every day, in hopes of learning his speech patterns, but really, in an attempt to try to get into his mindset and understand that each day that we were shooting."

READ MORE: Evan Peters watched a chilling Jeffrey Dahmer interview to prepare for the role

Evan Peters stars as Jeffrey Dahmer in Netflix’s new Monster series

In fact, Evan was so in the zone as Dahmer throughout the process, co-star Niecy Nash also adapted her cheerful demeanour around him. "I wanted to respect that and I wanted to keep him there," she said, before adding that she prayed for Evan throughout production because it was a "weighty" role to take on.

"And when you stay in it, and you’re tethered to the material, like bone to marrow, your soul is troubled at some point," she explained. "And I could see him getting tired. I just said, ‘Well, I’m just gonna make sure I keep him in my prayers, because this is a lot and he wants to do it justice.'"

Niecy also admitted that people would ask her what Evan was like to work with, but because he was so in character, she joked: "I’m like, ‘I don’t know, I don’t know that man,'."

On that note, we think it's time to let Evan Peters do that light-hearted rom-com he's been begging for, don't you?

Read more about Netflix's DAHMER here:

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