Actor Evan Peters said he was “terrified” of playing serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer in Netflix series Dahmer – The Beast: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.
“I went back and forth on whether or not I should do it,” Peters said during Saturday’s seminar. “I knew it was going to be incredibly dark and incredibly challenging.”
The panel also featured director Ryan Murphy and co-stars Nessie Nash and Richard Jenkins.
Peters explained that he watched Dahmer’s 1994 interview on “Dateline” to “dive into the psychology of this extreme aspect of human behavior.”
According to Murphy, Peters wore lead weights around his arms and lifts in his shoes for four months of preparation and six months of filming to mimic Dahmer’s physicality.
“He basically stayed in that character, though difficult, for several months,” Murphy said.
Peters said Dahmer “has a very straight back. He doesn’t move his arms when he walks, so I put weights on my arms to see how I felt.”
“I wore personalized shoes with lifts, his jeans, and his glasses, and I had a cigarette in my hand at all times,” Peters said. “I wanted all of these things, these outside things, to be second nature when we were shooting, so I watched a lot of the shots and also worked with an accent coach to lower his voice. The way he spoke, was very cool. He’s outstanding and he has the accent.”
“I also took off and created this 45-minute audio synthesizer, and it was very informative,” he continued. “I listened to it every day, hoping to learn his speech patterns, but really, trying to get into his mindset and understand that every day we were filming. It was a thorough search, trying to find special moments, in times when he didn’t seem shy So you can get a glimpse of how he behaved before these interviews and going to jail.”
Nash indicated that she got close to Peters in start shooting To say hello and realize he’s “on his way.”
“I wanted to respect that and I wanted to keep it there,” she said. “I’ve prayed for you a lot, really, because that’s heavy. And when you stay in it, and you’re bound by material, like bone to marrow, your soul is agitated at some point. And I can see I’m getting tired. I just said, ‘Okay, I’ll make sure you keep me in my prayer, because this A lot and he wants to do it justice.”