Evan Peters Used ‘Step Brothers’ To Help Eliminate His ‘Dahmer’ Role – The Hollywood Reporter

Netflix held two chats on its set on Saturday for Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story and Viewers – its most recent and biggest series, both with the backing of Ryan Murphy.

Murphy was moderator for both discussions, marking one of the first press events to revolve around Dahmer as it has become one of Netflix’s most watched shows ever – and as Murphy mentioned during the event, the biggest hit of the super producer’s career.

As the show aired for nearly a billion hours, Murphy admitted it was “something none of us understood or saw coming,” but he had two theories as to why it was a hit. “I feel like the world is a dark place, and people are looking for somewhere to relieve their anxiety, and that’s one thing,” he said. “The other thing is that I think since COVID, people have really taken a liking to the idea of ​​mental health, and on the show every character has had a bit of time to talk about that.”

One of the highlights of the film’s success, says Murphy, was in an emotional discussion with star Niecy Nash, who joined the conversation alongside Evan Peters and Richard Jenkins. Nash plays Glenda Cleveland, Dahmer’s neighbor, who repeatedly tries to report her murders to the police but is always ignored.

“I cried like a baby because I told Ryan, my prayer is that wherever Glenda Cleveland’s soul rests, she finally feels heard,” she said. “She finally learned that her story had traveled the world. That’s important to me. ”

During the conversation, Peters also admitted he was scared to play the serial killer – who brutally murdered 17 men between 1978 and 1991 – and went back to see if he should. do it or not. To prepare, he placed weights on his arms to mirror Dahmer’s walking style and wore the character’s shoes, jeans, and glasses for months of preparation, along with extensive research into dialects and dialects. language.

He is very insightful about his personality, “People will say, ‘What kind of person is Evan?’ and I was like, “I don’t know, I don’t know that man,” Nash joked.

“When I was doing the role, I wanted to give 120% of the whole thing, so I brought in a lot of darkness and negativity,” explains Peters about his process. “It’s just about having the end goal in sight, knowing when we’re going to end and being able to finally breathe and let go of it and say, ‘OK, now’s the time to bring joy and lightness. and watch comedies and romances and go back to St. Louis and meet my family, friends and yes, check it out Step brother. ‘”

“Evan Peters, you and I in a romantic comedy right after,” Nash teased, to which Peters replied, “Oh, I’m disappointed.”

The series received backlash from the victims’ families, some of whom accused the streamer and the team for not contacting them. Murphy reiterated his previous comments that his team has reached out to 20 families and friends of the victims with no response and said he has four or five researchers working on the program. to make sure they got it right.

“We tried to explain the story but also going into it that we definitely have something to say. I had something like an artist. I feel like this is the biggest thing I’ve ever done exploring the idea of ​​white privilege,” said Murphy. “I mean, this guy basically got caught 10 times and ran away, and I wanted to tell that story. I want to tell a story about homophobia. I want to tell a story about policing. I want to tell a story about racism, systemic racism. We’re very conscious about saying all that over and over in the scriptwriter’s room and with the actors as well. “

“I feel a responsibility to do the right thing,” Nash added. “There were days when I left the set in tears because of the weight of all this happening and knowing that all of it didn’t have to happen.”

Murphy also led a discussion about Viewers during the event, with stars Naomi Watts, Jennifer Coolidge, Margo Martindale and Noma Dumezweni participating from afar. The film tells the true story of one of the new owners of a house in New Jersey who begins to receive anonymous letters from someone claiming to be “The Watcher”, with family specifics and threats.

Murphy mentioned that Watts told him it was her biggest hit since Rings, as she says, “I’m happy to be back in the genre. I’ve had great success with it, and as an actor, there’s a lot of emotion that comes with fear.”

“There has been a huge reaction for all of us, and it feels very different to be part of something that is actually being received very positively by people, in major ways,” she continued. “Very often you put your work out there and people don’t see it. So it’s a great feeling.” Martindale noted that she was surrounded by fans when she went out in New York recently, something she had never had before.

Murphy also revealed her conversations with including Coolidge on the project, saying she agreed to do it if she had to kill someone. “You were so excited about the idea that I found it fascinating to play a cruel, dark character that you said no one in a million years thought would write for you,” Murphy said. “I was like, ‘I want you to play something like, a villain.'”

Coolidge asserts: “No one really thinks of me when it comes to someone who is dark, evil, or someone who is not really nice. “I’ve always had an illusion about it.”

The series is based on a story detailed in Cut in 2018, and Murphy noted, “When we have rights, we’re trying to respect the family. They had certain warnings about their children, that we were on board. And when we filmed and made it, you were all really based on real people or people in our research.”

Regarding the groundbreaking success of these two true-crime stories, Watts mused, “Obviously, there are a lot of people coveting it right now. There’s a lot of darkness in the world and a lot of chaos… Maybe it’s a way to try and understand what’s going on and decompress things – a sense of needing control by figuring things out. ”


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