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Evan Peters admits he was scared to commit to the role of Jeffrey Dahmer

Embodying such an evil essence would be taxing for anyone.

Image via Netflix

It’s difficult to gauge how knowledgeable the average audience is about what exactly actors and actresses do. The art of acting isn’t simply glorified imitation; it involves deft emotional work that allows such players to evocate the essence of what a character would be, act like, and how they would appear to others.

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It’s no easy task, and that fact is perhaps freshest in the mind of Evan Peters (American Horror Story), who’s set to portray Jeffrey Dahmer, the infamous Milwaukeean serial killer, rapist, and cannibal who claimed the lives of 17 young men over a 13 year period, in the upcoming Netflix miniseries Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, co-created by Ryan Murphy, who previously worked with Peters on American Horror Story.

The series will focus on Dahmer’s many horrific crimes from the perspective of his victims, as well as chronicling the surrounding turmoil of both the heinousness of the situation and a justice system that carried out anything but.

In an interview with Tudum, Peters opened up about the harrowing anxiety he felt about embodying a figure such as Dahmer.

“I was very scared about all of the things that Dahmer did, and [I knew that] trying to commit to that was absolutely going to be one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do in my life.”

He would go on to point out how this series, the latest in a long line of true crime material featuring Dahmer’s killings, takes a different, much more intimate, and, subsequently, even more horrifying approach than ever before.

“It’s called ‘The Jeffrey Dahmer Story’ but it’s not just him and his backstory. It’s [about] how society and our system failed to stop him multiple times because of racism and homophobia.”

Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story will release to Netflix on September 21.