Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story star Evan Peters is already part of the discussion for a potential nomination for next year’s Emmy season, but despite the critical acclaim, playing the serial killer wasn’t a role the actor was looking forward to. In the Netflix series, Peters delivers what could be his most compelling performance yet, even if playing Dahmer meant he had to take his mind into some dark places. The role is completely unlike what Peters had been looking for at the time of his casting, and yet, there was something about it that made it impossible to turn down.
Previously, Peters had collaborated multiple times with Dahmer co-creator Ryan Murphy, who developed the Netflix series with Ian Brennan. The actor had consistently appeared in different seasons of American Horror Story, playing some rather bizarre characters. He has even played Charles Manson in one season of the horror series as well as infamous cult leaders like Marshall Applewhite, David Koresh, and Jim Jones.
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Per THR, Murphy was recently at a special event held for Dahmer at the DGA Theater in Los Angeles. He revealed that at the time of his Dahmer casting, Peters was actually looking for a much more lighthearted role, hoping to play someone “normal,” perhaps even in a rom-com. Murphy then proceeded to offer him the role of Jeffrey Dahmer, and while it was not at all what Peters was looking for, he still found it hard to say no, given the challenges that this would bring to him as an actor.
“He called me the next day, and he said, ‘It’s so challenging. It’s so difficult that I kind of have to say yes to it, even though I’m terrified of it,’” Murphy explained.
Playing Jeffrey Dahmer Wasn’t Easy for Evan Peters
Evan Peters did extensive research to transform himself into Jeffrey Dahmer. That means reading up as much as possible on Dahmer through various books and articles about the cannibalistic necrophile. Replicating Dahmer also meant studying footage and audio from interviews to accurately portray the killer’s mannerisms along with the way he spoke.
“He has a lot of external things from the way that he walks, he doesn’t move his arms when he walks and talks. And so I did a lot of research on watching him and seeing how he moved and working with weights on my arms, wearing wardrobe, all sorts of things that I would carry with me throughout the day to try to stay in it, so it would be second nature,” Peters said. “And then I created a 45-minute audio composite, which I listened to every day to try to get his dialect and how he spoke and really try to understand why he did what he did or what his mindset was.”
Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story is streaming on Netflix, where it continues to break streaming viewership records despite its controversies.