Looking at the roles that actor Evan Peters has chosen to portray in his almost two-decade-long career, one can see that he is attracted to twisted and dark characters. After playing various kinds of deranged characters in Ryan Murphy’s anthology series American Horror Story, he gained international recognition for playing the infamous serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer in the Netflix series Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.
The show was a huge success but also drew criticism for its sensationalism as well as for profiting off of trauma. Peters himself had a tough time with playing the murderer, so much so that he rejected an offer to play a role opposite Aubrey Plaza in the second season of The White Lotus.
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Evan Peters As Jeffrey Dahmer
After working with Evan Peters for over ten years on American Horror Story, creator Ryan Murphy perfectly cast Peters as the serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer in his new true-crime anthology series. The Netflix series Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story premiered in 2022 and quickly became the second-most-watched English series for the streaming giant.
Peters played the eponymous Jeffrey Dahmer, who at the time of his conviction, had been charged with the murder of seventeen males, including minors. To play the deranged character, Peters had to prepare himself for four months to get into the killer’s head. The actor reportedly went through interviews, confession tapes, documentaries, and psychological profiles to better understand him.
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The actor mentioned in an interview with The Envelope (via LA Times) that the actor tried to get the physicality of Dahmer, especially after the time jump by carrying weights to decrease his arms swinging and wearing clothes that he would be wearing during the shot. He said,
“I wouldn’t say Method. I think that term has been misconstrued over the years. Everybody has their own method. I’d rather just stay in it while we’re shooting, try to be as authentic as possible. I find it very difficult to go in and out of it.”
Evan Peters won the Golden Globe for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film for his role and was nominated for a Primetime Emmy.
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Evan Peters Rejected A Role In The White Lotus
While Evan Peters did not go to the lengths that other actors such as Heath Ledger had gone to play deranged characters, he did mention that it was hard to get out of the character. In fact, he was so riled up by playing the serial killer, that he sacrificed a great role and a trip to Sicily, after being offered a role in the second season of the Aubrey Plaza starrer The White Lotus.
In an Actor’s Roundtable interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Evan Peters revealed that he was supposed to play the part of Ethan, a character played by Will Sharpe, opposite Aubrey Plaza. The actor was reportedly offered it after he played Jeffrey Dahmer. He said,
“Yeah, the scheduling didn’t work out. I was devastated…[I was supposed to play] Ethan, Will Sharpe’s [character].”
While Peters chalked it up to scheduling conflicts, he responded to The White Lotus actor Michael Imperioli’s question as to whether the character was offered to him ‘on the heels of Dahmer’, to which he said yes.
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Source: The Hollywood Reporter, The Envelope (via LA Times)