This fall, Netflix’s Jeffrey Dahmer series quickly became one of the platform’s most-watched series ever. In fact, as far as English-language titles go, it’s second only to Stranger Things Season 4, according to Variety.
Despite all of the show’s success, Evan Peters hasn’t worked since filming wrapped — but for a very important reason. Portraying the titular serial murderer in Dahmer — Monster took Peters to some dark places, he recently revealed in a new Netflix roundtable. He employed Dahmer’s accent and wardrobe even off-camera to maintain the mindset so he could give the role “120%,” he explained. It got to the point that his co-star, Niecy Nash, couldn’t connect with him while filming. “At first, I felt some kind of way,” she recalled. “Because I felt like, well who doesn’t like me? I’m a very likable lady! You know? And then I realized, oh, this is his process.”
Once production was over, though, Peters took plenty of time to “decompress.” The process involved traveling to his hometown of St. Louis, spending time with family and friends, and finding comfort in a very popular comedy.
“[I] watched Step Brothers,” he said. “Just to change up the psyche. It’s so good.” Ironically, the 2008 film stars Richard Jenkins, who would go on to play Lionel Dahmer alongside Peters and who, behind the scenes, expressed concerns about his onscreen son “burning out,” Peters recalled.
“I put in so much negativity and darkness to portray the character that I just thought, OK, once this is done, all that goes away,” he said in the roundtable, out Nov. 28. “And I have to get back into the light and start filling myself back up with comedies, and romance, and all sorts of things like that.”
Series co-creator Ryan Murphy praised Peters’ commitment to the heavy role after collaborating with him on several projects over the last decade — including the very first season of American Horror Story. “I find Evan to be, in real life, an absolute delight,” he said. “He’s funny, we joke, he has Thanksgiving, my kids have sat on his knee, we’ve laughed, and the interesting thing about him as an actor is, when he’s working, he’s so dedicated, I wouldn’t call it method acting … but that person goes away.” During the roundtable, Murphy also revealed that Peters was always his first choice for portraying Dahmer on the Netflix series.