Evan Peters Wore Lead Weights to Stay in Character As Jeffrey Dahmer



  • Ryan Murphy and Evan Peters spoke about their work on Netflix’s “Dahmer” at a panel on Saturday.
  • Peters wore lead weights and shoe lifts to imitate Jeffrey Dahmer in preparation for the role, per Variety.
  • Peters said he did so to mimic Dahmer’s physicality until it became “second nature.” 

Evan Peters wore lead weights on his arms for nearly a year in preparation for Netflix’s “Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.” 

Showrunner Ryan Murphy, Peters, and other cast members spoke about the popular series during a panel on Saturday, per Variety. While there, Murphy reflected on the lengths Peters, who plays Jeffrey Dahmer in the series, went to embody the serial killer. 

A picture of Evan Peters

Even Peters stars as Jeffrey Dahmer in the Netflix series.

Netflix



According to Murphy, Peters stayed in character as Dahmer “for months,” including four months of preparation and six months of filming. Peters did so, in part, by wearing lead weights around his arms and lifts in his shoes 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, 35, said according to the outlet. “I wore the character shoes with lifts in them, his jeans, his glasses, I had a cigarette in my hand at all times.”

Variety reported that Peters said he worked with a dialect coach to understand Dahmer’s mannerisms and speech pattern as if it were “second nature.” 

“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,” Peters continued, according to the outlet. “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.”

Evan Peters wear a tuxedo while attending 2022 Vanity Fair Oscar Party

Evan Peters worked with a dialect coach to imitate Dahmer’s voice.

Arturo Holmes/Getty Images



Peters also said he listened to the audio composite daily to get into Dahmer’s mindset. 

“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,” Peters continued. 

“Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” is a 10-episode mini-series that premiered on Netflix in September. The series chronicles Dahmer’s murders from the victims’ perspective and analyzes how law enforcement initially failed to investigate Dahmer after neighbors reported suspicious activity.

The cast includes Peters, Molly Ringwald, Niecy Nash, and Richard Jenkins. 

Ryan Murphy at 33rd Annual Producers Guild Awards.

Ryan Murphy addressed controversy surrounding the Jeffrey Dahmer series.

Kevin Winter/Getty Images



During a separate panel appearance on Thursday, Murphy addressed the controversy surrounding the show sparked by victims’ families. Some families have said Murphy never contacted them before the series aired, which he later denied.  

Other family members accused Murphy of exploiting their trauma and retraumatizing them with the content. 

In response, Murphy said that he’d be “happy to pay” for a memorial honoring the victims in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where the murders took place. An attorney who previously represented eight of the victims’ families called out Murphy, saying he should instead share the profits of his Netflix series with the families. 



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