American Horror Story's Evan Peters: 'It Just Gets Worse'
"My mom can't watch it," says the actor who plays Tate on the increasingly creepy FX series
“I always just tell people, ‘You’ve got to watch the show,’ ” says the actor, 24, who plays Tate, a troubled soul who slaughtered his high school classmates and – as of last week’s episode – doesn’t know he’s dead, too. But Peters sympathizes with fans who are left wanting more each week. The cast members, who are currently still shooting season one, are just as eager for answers.
“It’s the same for us – we’re like, ‘Give me the next script! Let’s go, let’s read!'” he says with a laugh. “We’re a couple episodes ahead of viewers. I know what they’re going through, it sucks. But I’m on lockdown. They’ll find out.”
The one thing he will reveal about what’s to come the scary FX show? “It only gets worse.”
Luckily, Peters was willing to give PEOPLE.com an inside look at the cast, the house, and why Jessica Lange doesn’t bring her dog to set.
We can’t imagine what a show like this one would look like on paper what did you think when you first read the script?
It looked cool! It looked interesting and scary and it looked like a horror film, basically. I was intrigued by it and I was thinking, how they going to keep this going? It’s with new twists and turns and closing storylines and opening new ones. It psychologically screws you. And it’s a good kind of scary. It sticks with you.
What’s the house like in person?
It’s terrifying. It’s a real house in L.A. that’s old and creepy and there’s actually a chapel connected to it. The whole atmosphere there is really terrifying. They built the inside of the house on the [sound] stages so you go there and it looks pretty identical.
How much do you shoot in the actual house?
We were there for the whole pilot, now just exterior shots. We heard some noises and stuff shooting but that’s to be expected in a three-story house with an attic. It’s just a creepy house, it’s so terrifying, with that wood everywhere. I would never, ever want to live in that house.
What’s the mood like on set? Some of the characters are very intense does anyone stay in character the whole time?
Like Daniel Day-Lewis or something? No, the mood is cool and normal. I’d love to be crazy the whole time but I don’t think it’s possible to be Tate the whole time and be professional. Jessica Lange is a sweetheart, the nicest lady in the world. She has a Poodle named Jack.
If I had a dog I wouldn t bring him to this particular set
Yeah, they might get thrown in a microwave or something.
Your storyline has been more intense by the episode, especially with last week’s school shooting. What was that like to film?
It s a really sick, sad thing that happened. The problem is that it’s not made up – I think that’s why it’s so disturbing. And there have been so many school shootings, not just Columbine. Such a terrible thing. That aside, it’s very cool to go around and be totally insane, that’s an actors dream. It was hard to do and a pretty intense experience but also fun and interesting to do.
Were you a horror movie fan before you got this role?
I wasn’t a huge horror movie fan before because they kinda stress me out. Since working on the show I’ve definitely gotten into it a lot more and I have an appreciation for what’s going on behind the scenes. I used to look at horror movies as being really real and it would totally freak me out and give me nightmares. Now I watch and think, whoa how’d they do that?
How has your family reacted to your character?
My mom can’t watch it. My dad told her, “Don’t ever watch [the school shooting] episode.”
What’s it been like for the cast to watch the show take off like this?
I don’t think it’s really hit. It hasn’t hit me. I’m focused on getting this season done. I don’t really know what’s going on in the outside world!
So you don’t have fans coming up to you on the street?
At the Blockbuster I go to, the guy was like, ‘Dude, you’re on American Horror Story. I love that show!’ ”