Evan Peters had to go to a dark place to play notorious serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer and needed some help from one of his Netflix co-stars to get back to the “light.”
In an interview shared by the streaming service Monday, the star of Ryan Murphy’s controversial “Dahmer — The Beast: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” revealed how difficult it is to both get into character and “get it all off.”
“I put in so much negativity and darkness to bring the character to life that I was like, ‘Okay, when this is over, this will all go away and I have to go back to the light and start filling myself with comedies and romance. stuff like that,” said Peters Monday.
One of these comedies was the 2008 movie “Step Brothers,” starring none other than “Dahmer” co-star Richard Jenkins.
Peters, 35, said that in preparation for the role of “Dahmer,” he “watched as much as I could” of the notorious killer, including courtroom footage.
“She has such a distinctive voice and such a dialect,” said Peters. “I worked with Polish coaches and then I created this 45-minute audio mix that I listen to every day to stay in the accent, but also really get in the head for that day and all the scenes we shot.”
After debuting in late September, the series became one of Netflix’s most-watched shows and garnered both acclaim and criticism for its accuracy. Known as the “Milwaukee Cannibal,” the real-life Dahmer killed 17 men and boys – mostly Black and gay – from 1978 to 1991 and ate some of their corpses. He died in 1994 after being beaten in prison.
“I tried to understand what he was thinking and what he was going through,” Peters said during the casting conversation. “I tried to stay in it because it was so hard to get in and out.”
Peters added that he was “studying how he moved” and that Dahmer “didn’t move his arms while walking.” The actor noted the killer’s “very flat back” and put weights on his hands to try to recreate his gait to “understand” Dahmer.
“It was important for me to understand how that felt,” Peters said. “While shooting, I dropped this. Initially, I wore the shoes, jeans and glasses of the wardrobe. I always had a cigarette in my hand, just trying to get all this external, second nature. [things]so I wasn’t thinking about that when shooting.
Murphy previously said he created the 10-episode series to “shed light on the as-yet untold stories of the Dahmer victims,” but has since been criticized by some of his families for abusing their trauma. Even star gymnast Simone Biles urged people not to glorify the serial killer.
The series sparked more backlash as it was listed under Netflix’s LGBTQ category.