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The Abyss Is Staring Back At Evan Peters After Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story

"Dahmer — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story," a title which is only marginally less convoluted than "High School Musical: The Musical: The Series," is a Netflix biographical crime drama about the titular, infamous, real-world serial killer, Jeffrey Dahmer (Evan Peters). The horrific series tells the story through the lens of those affected by his criminal activities rather than by focusing on the murderer himself. That alone is a refreshing take on the genre, as most dramas based on real and dangerous people toe the line between retelling events and romanticizing them. 

Fortunately, in this case, the exact opposite is occurring, as the cast has been open about their experience with the production of "Dahmer — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story." Peters, in particular, has come forward about the process which saw him become the killer, and precious little of what he has to say can be misconstrued by even the most ardent true-crime apologists. Here's what Evan Peters shared about the acting process. 

Evan Peters struggled with emotional toll of portraying a serial killer

In an interview shared by Netflix's YouTube account, Evan Peters shared a familiar struggle, stating that portraying the serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer deeply taxed him. "Honestly, I was very scared about all of the things that he did, and diving into that and trying to commit to that was absolutely going to be one of the hardest things I've ever had to do in my life because I wanted it to be very authentic," he said. "But in order to do that, I was gonna have to go to really dark places and stay there for an extended period of time."

Trivia like this feels double-edged. On one side, behind-the-scenes information is usually compelling simply on the merit that someone in the know is pulling the curtain aside so that curious minds can potentially access it. On the other hand ... it's not particularly surprising — or even interesting — news to hear that a normal person is disturbed by pretending to be a serial killer. If anything, that should just be the daily litmus test for anyone taking on these roles. The moment it doesn't phase you, it's time to switch actors, right? 

All this aside, it's heartening to know that Peters is putting in the work to ensure that his projects are as good as they can possibly be, and maybe that's the only important takeaway from this because anything else sounds suspiciously like someone complaining about one of the coolest jobs in the world. 

Evan Peters and the show's creators had one rule going into Dahmer — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story

While the role forced Evan Peters to go to some dark places, the actor was always wary of making sure his character was presented in an honest and very unflattering light. That said, he wasn't the only person involved in the creation of "Dahmer — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story" who felt this way going into the series.

During the aforementioned interview with Netflix, Peters revealed that co-creator Ryan Murphy had one with this project: never glamourize the titular serial killer. According to Peters, not portraying Dahmer as a protagonist means that the audience can't see his point of view and potentially sympathize with his plight. "It's called the Jeffrey Dahmer Story, but it's not just him and his backstory. It's the repercussions. It's how society and our system failed to stop him multiple times, because of racism, homophobia... it's just a tragic story. Everybody gets their side of the story told," Peters explained.

Overall, the goal was to detail the experiences of his victims and others involved in the disturbing case. Peters said that Dahmer's story is "so much bigger" than the serial killer and that's what the show's cast and crew hopes viewers take away from the series.