Ryan Murphy Reveals Evan Peters Stayed in Character as Dahmer 'for Months'

Monday October 31, 2022
Originally published on October 30, 2022

Evan Peters in "Dahmer — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story"
Evan Peters in "Dahmer — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story"   (Source:Courtesy of Netflix)

Netflix's "Dahmer — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story" became one of the streamer's most-watched shows this year and that might be due to the commitment star Evan Peters put into playing the titular gay serial killer.

Variety reports that at a recent panel producer Ryan Murphy revealed that Peters stayed in character for about ten months. Murphy said during the four months of prep and six months of shooting, Peters wore lead weights on his arms and lifts in his shoes to match Dahmer's physicality and "basically stayed in this character, as difficult as it was, for months."

"He has a very straight back. He doesn't move his arms when he walks, so I put weights on my arms to see what that felt like. I wore the character shoes with lifts in them, his jeans, his glasses, I had a cigarette in my hand at all times," Evans said. "I wanted all this stuff, these external things, to be second nature when we were shooting, so I watched a lot of footage and I also worked with a dialect coach to get down his voice.

"The way that he spoke, it was very distinct and he had a dialect. So I also went off and created this 45-minute audio composite, which was very helpful. I listened to that every day, in hopes of learning his speech patterns, but really, in an attempt to try to get into his mindset and understand that each day that we were shooting," he added. "It was an exhaustive search, trying to find private moments, times where he didn't seem self conscious, so you could get a glimpse into how he behaved prior to these interviews and being in prison."

Costar Niecy Nash added that she tried to say hi to Peters at the start of filming the series but realized he was "in his process."

"I wanted to respect that and I wanted to keep him there," she said and turned to Peters. "I prayed for you a lot, for real, because this is weighty. And when you stay in it, and you're tethered to the material, like bone to marrow, your soul is troubled at some point. And I could see him getting tired. I just said, 'Well, I'm just gonna make sure I keep him in my prayers, because this is a lot and he wants to do it justice.'"

There has been a backlash to the series with many of Dahmer's victims' family members speaking out against it. It was recently reported, however, that v

"It's something that we researched for a very long time," Murphy said. "And we — over the course of the three, three and a half years when we were really writing it, working on it — we reached out to 20, around 20, of the victims' families and friends trying to get input, trying to talk to people."

According to him, "not a single person responded" to their requests to know more and understand the events surrounding their connections to Dahmer.

"So we relied very, very heavily on our incredible group of researchers who... I don't even know how they found a lot of this stuff," said Murphy. "But it was just like a night and day effort to us trying to uncover the truth of these people."