Evan Peters plays the murderer in Ryan Murphy's upcoming Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story limited series on Netflix

By Benjamin VanHoose
June 09, 2021 11:09 AM
Advertisement
Evan Peters is Spotted on Set as Jeffrey Dahmer for a new Biopic 'Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story'.
Credit: The Image Direct

Evan Peters is deep into character for his next dark role.

On Tuesday, the actor was photographed in Los Angeles while working on the upcoming Ryan Murphy-produced Netflix limited series Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, in which Peters plays the titular serial killer.

In the first image from set, Peters, 34, wears blue jeans and a tucked-in button-down shirt, with eyeglasses and a mop of blond hair. He also wears a face shield, given pandemic precautions. Monster's cast also includes Niecy Nash, Penelope Ann Miller and Richard Jenkins, who plays Dahmer's dad.

Peters - who most recently appeared in Disney+'s WandaVision and HBO's Mare of Easttown - teased to Variety in April how he's researching for his performance, explaining that he had to pull back from digging too deep on the real-life story and instead commit to the scripts.

"I've read so much, I've watched so much, I've seen so much, and at a certain point, you've got to say, 'All right, that's enough.' There are beautifully written scripts. You can have all the backstory you want, but at the end of the day we're not making a documentary," he told the outlet at the time. "It's more about maintaining the idea and the through line of why you're telling the story and always having that as your guiding light."

Evan Peters, Jeffrey Dahmer
Evan Peters (left) and Jeffrey Dahmer
| Credit: GP Images/WireImage; Curt Borgwardt/Sygma via Getty

Want to get the biggest stories from PEOPLE every weekday? Subscribe to our new podcast, PEOPLE Every Day, to get the essential celebrity, entertainment and human interest news stories Monday through Friday.

"But, there's so much material for Dahmer that I think it's incredibly important to make it really authentic," added Peters. "... You can play around with levels of naturalism and understatedness, versus the zany, over-the-top, 'this is very clearly a TV show meant for entertainment.' It's almost a scene by scene, episode by episode, moment by moment basis, deciding, 'Okay yeah he did that there in real life' or 'No he didn't do that there, but that's okay because it works for the story we're trying to tell.' "

Dahmer raped, murdered and dismembered at least 17 men and boys in Milwaukee, Wisc., between 1978 and 1991. When he was finally arrested, the extent of his crimes - including cannibalism and necrophilia - shocked the American public.

He was charged with 17 murders. Although he was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and psychotic disorder, he was found to be mentally fit to stand trial. In 1992, he was convicted of 16 of the murders and sentenced to 16 life terms in prison.

However, Dahmer didn't spend much time in jail: On Nov. 28, 1994, he was bludgeoned to death by a fellow inmate at Columbia Correctional Institution in Portage, Wisc. He was 34.

RELATED VIDEO: Billy Porter Calls the Final Season of Pose 'Perfection': 'I Just Feel Very Blessed'

Peters has previously worked with Murphy, 55, on shows like American Horror Story and Pose. Speaking with GQ back in July 2018, the star opened up about the toll darker roles take on him behind-the-scenes.

"It's just exhausting. It's really mentally draining, and you don't want to go to those places ever in your life," he said at the time. "And so you have to go there for the scenes, and it ends up integrating it somehow into your life. You're in traffic and you find yourself screaming and you're like, 'What the hell? This isn't who I am.' I fight really hard to combat...."

The X-Men actor also explained why he enjoys working with Murphy: "I trust him and his vision and his writing and directing and sort of him overseeing everything. I know there's a bigger plan, and so I always throw it up to him, and I say, 'I'm in your hands. Let's do this. Whatever you need me to do.' "