Evan Peters says Jeffrey Dahmer is the hardest role he's ever had to play
20 September 2022, 16:35
"[It] was absolutely going to be one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do in my life because I wanted it to be very authentic."
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Evan Peters is set to take Netflix by storm as he portrays the serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer in Ryan Murphy Productions' DAHMER – Monster: The Story of Jeffrey Dahmer.
While Evan's performance will no doubt garner praise from fans and critics, the Emmy-winning actor has now described just how difficult it's been to portray someone as monstrous as Dahmer.
Fans of American Horror Story will know that Evan Peters has had to play some pretty horrible characters in the past, including serial killer James March from AHS: Hotel and Kai Anderson from AHS: Cult. But while those characters were fictional, Jeffrey Dahmer is a very real person who did absolutely horrific things in real life.
Evan revealed that the challenge of taking on that 'role' and portraying the notorious figure on screen was one of the hardest things he's had to do in his career so far.
"I was very scared about all of the things that Dahmer did, and diving into that and trying to commit to [playing this character] was absolutely going to be one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do in my life because I wanted it to be very authentic." Evan told Netflix.
"But in order to do that, I was going to have to go to really dark places and stay there for an extended period of time."
He continued: "I have to say that the crew was instrumental in keeping me on the guard rails, I cannot thank them enough and I could not have done any of this role with them...It was a challenge to try to have this person who was seemingly so normal but underneath all of it, had this entire world that he was keeping secret from everybody."
"It was so jaw-dropping that it all really happened," Evan added. "It felt important to be respectful to the victims and to the victims' families to try to tell the story as authentically as we could."
Evan previously opened up about the toll that the dark characters he's played in the past have had on his mental health.
Speaking about his work on AHS – Cult, in particular – Evan told GQ: "I'm goofy, I'm silly, I like to have fun. I don't like to yell and scream. I actually hate it. I think it's disgusting and really awful, and it's been a challenge for me. Horror Story sort of demanded that of me."
"It's been all a massive stretch for me and really difficult to do," he said of playing certain AHS characters. "It's hurting my soul and Evan as a person."
"It's just exhausting. It's really mentally draining, and you don't want to go to those places ever in your life. And so you have to go there for the scenes, and it ends up integrating it somehow into your life. You're in traffic and you find yourself screaming and you're like, 'What the hell? This isn't who I am.'"
Ryan Murphy also told Entertainment Weekly that it took Evan almost two years to recover from portraying the alt-right cult leader Kai Anderson.
Read more Evan Peters news here:
- Evan Peters transforms into Jeffrey Dahmer in first look at new Netflix series
- Evan Peters wins his first Emmy award for Mare of Easttown
- Evan Peters almost quit acting after filming drunk bar scene in Mare of Easttown
- Evan Peters sings Dolly Parton karaoke in AHS: Double Feature and fans can't cope
- Evan Peters performs in drag in AHS: Double Feature episode 4