Evan Peters said he “brought in a lot of darkness and negativity” as he portrayed the serial killer in Netflix’s Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story
The darkness surrounding his portrayal of Jeffrey Dahmer in Netflix’s latest hit thriller, Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, was not easy to separate from real life for Evan Peters.
Peters, 35, opened up about what it was like to portray the serial killer during a moderated discussion hosted by Netflix on Saturday.
“Doing the role, I wanted to give it 120 percent the whole way through, so I brought in a lot of darkness and negativity,” he said, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
As part of his preparation for the role, Peters shared that he wore Dahmer’s shoes, jeans and glasses for months, and also put weights on his arms to mirror the killer’s walking style. He added that he debated about whether or not to take the role initially, and was terrified when he eventually did take it on.
The American Horror Story actor kept his sights set on the series wrapping as he grappled with the darkness of Dahmer’s life. There was even a comedy movie that he thought of as he navigated the role.
“It was just having that end goal in sight, knowing when we were going to wrap and finally being able to breathe and let it go and say, ‘Okay, now it’s time to bring in the joy and the lightness and watch comedies and romances and go back to St. Louis and see my family and friends and yeah, watch Step Brothers,’ ” Peters said.
Niecy Nash, who played Dahmer’s keen-eyed and suspicious neighbor in the series, joked about how deep Peters was in the role. “People will say, ‘What is Evan like?’ and I’m like, ‘I don’t know, I don’t know that man,’ ” she said
Since its release, the series has received mixed reviews and has even sparked controversy, with some criticizing Dahmer for desensitizing viewers.
Despite the backlash, the show still managed to land in the number-one spot during its debut week on Netflix, and has become one of the streaming service’s most-viewed shows ever.
The series provides a closer look at Dahmer’s victims, at least 17 men and boys whom he raped, murdered and dismembered between 1978 and 1991 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It also showcases the one victim who got away and later went on to play a big part in Dahmer’s eventual arrest, Tracy Edwards.
In July 1991, Dahmer was arrested and later gave a detailed confession to police, admitting to a “total of 17 slayings,” per The Associated Press. He was charged with four counts of first-degree intentional homicide at first, followed by eleven more murder charges the following month.
Dahmer pleaded “innocent and innocent by reason of mental disease” in September 1991, but later changed his plea to “guilty but insane” in January 1992.
After being ruled to be sane and not suffering from a mental disorder at the time of the murders, he was sentenced to 16 life terms in prison in 1992. His time in jail did not last long, as he was bludgeoned to death by fellow inmate Christopher Scarver in 1994.[via]