Evan Peters Wanted a "Normal" Role, Got Cast in Dahmer Instead
The American Horror Story star Evan Peters wanted to play someone "normal" and maybe do a rom-com before he was chosen to play serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer in Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story show.
The revelations come from Ryan Murphy, the Emmy Award–winning director of the new Netflix 10-episode limited series. Murphy said that after auditioning around 100 people, he gave the script to Peters.
"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 told The Hollywood Reporter.
Evan Peters had previously worked with Ryan Murphy on American Horror Story. He played a school shooter in the Season 1 and a cult leader in American Horror Story: Cult. Apparently Peters wanted to broaden his horizons when he referred to playing someone "normal".
Jeffrey Dahmer, also known as the Milwaukee Monster or Milwaukee Cannibal, was a notorious American serial killer and sex offender. Between 1978 and 1991 he murdered and dismembered seventeen men and boys. Dahmer was imprisoned in 1992 and died at the age of 34 after his fellow inmate beat him to death in 1994.
According to the show's description on the Netflix website, "Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story is a series that exposes these unconscionable crimes, centered around the underserved victims and their communities impacted by the systemic racism and institutional failures of the police that allowed one of America's most notorious serial killers to continue his murderous spree in plain sight for over a decade."
Evan has said he read all the books and articles about Dahmer in an attempt to try to understand why the Milwaukee Cannibal did what he did. He read psychological reports, confessions and timelines, too. The Mare of Easttown actor has also did a lot of research on watching Jeffrey Dahmer 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."
And it did not stop there. Evan Peters admitted he created a 45-minute audio composite, which he listened to every day. This was necessary to get the serial killer's dialect right and get an idea of how he spoke.
Peter's partner Niecy Nash, who plays Glenda Cleveland, Dahmer's neighbor who tried to alert police about the murders but was always ignored said Peters was deeply immersed in his character and this is why she hardly got to know him on the set.
"I think maybe we said good morning twice? Because I forced it on him … I realized, [I have to] stay in my lane because I did not want to upset your process and what you need to do to stay where you needed to stay," according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story series was an instant hit on Netflix. The series landed at #1 on the Nielsen charts showing the best ratings result for a streaming series.