- Evan Peters credits “Step Brothers” for helping him leave behind his role as Jeffrey Dahmer.
- The 2008 comedy stars Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, and Richard Jenkins, Peters’ “Dahmer” costar.
- “I brought in a lot of darkness and negativity,” Peters said, per The Hollywood Reporter.
Evan Peters said that he credits the comedy film “Step Brothers” (2008) for helping him step away from the “darkness” of “Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.”
At a panel discussion on Saturday moderated by showrunner Ryan Murphy, Peters opened up about his time playing the notorious serial killer, per The Hollywood Reporter.
During the event, Peters shared that he turned to the lighthearted movie, directed by Adam McKay and starring Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly, when he was finally “able to breathe” and put the role behind him.
The film also stars Richard Jenkins, one of Peters’ “Dahmer” costars. In both “Dahmer” and “Step Brothers,” the Oscar-nominated actor portrays the protagonist’s father.
“Doing the role, I wanted to give it 120 percent the whole way through, so I brought in a lot of darkness and negativity,” Peters said of his transformation into the so-called Milwaukee Cannibal for the 10-episode miniseries which took six months to film.
“It was just having that end goal in sight, knowing when we were going to wrap and finally being able to breathe and let it go and say, OK, now it’s time to bring in the joy and the lightness and watch comedies and romances and go back to St. Louis and see my family and friends and yeah, watch ‘Step Brothers.'”
Niecy Nash, who was also in attendance and plays Dahmer’s neighbor Glenda Cleveland in the series, then teased that the pair should team up next for something similarly easygoing.
“Evan Peters, you and me in a rom-com right after this,” Nash quipped. Peters replied: “Oh, I’m down.”
Elsewhere in the discussion, Peters said he wore lead weights on his arms “for months,” both before and during the shoot, in order to mimic Dahmer’s physicality.
“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,” Peters explained. “I wore the character shoes with lifts in them, his jeans, his glasses, I had a cigarette in my hand at all times.”
Peters also worked with a dialect coach to understand Dahmer’s mannerisms and speech patterns as if it were “second nature.”
Meanwhile, during a separate panel appearance on Thursday, series creator Murphy addressed the controversy surrounding the show. Many people have spoken out against the series, including several family members of Errol Lindsey, one of the killer’s victims.
Lindsey’s sister, Rita Isbell, recently penned a touching essay for Insider about how it felt having to watch the show recreate the emotional victim impact statement she gave in court, and also noted that Netflix didn’t contact her about the show.
Other family members accused Murphy of exploiting their trauma and retraumatizing them with the show and said Murphy never contacted them before the series aired — a claim he has denied.