Evan Peters Explains Why ‘American Horror Story: Cult’ Has “Pushed Him to the Limit”

“I’ve never worked this much in my life, period, and I’ve never been in the show this much and had so much thrown at me.” – Evan Peters

American Horror Story: Cult is all about the subtitle — and how cult-like devotion might be scarier than anything the anthology series has tackled to date. Starring on the series is Evan Peters, who plays the cult leader Kai. Although Peters has appeared on several previous seasons of American Horror Story, he explains to The Hollywood Reporter why Cult has been the hardest role he has ever played.

“I didn’t realize I was going to be playing so many different characters going into the season. The challenge as an actor of playing all of them was pretty daunting, and Kai is the most vicious of all of the cult leaders. He has been a difficult character to play, with a lot of highs and lows, and a lot of darkness.” As excited as he is to be on the series, he admits, “I’m excited to wrap and go on vacation.”

What makes this even more amazing is that Peters didn’t know that he was playing additional characters until he started filming scenes as Kai. Creator Ryan Murphy told Peters that he wanted him to play Andy Warhol on the series. Peters recalls, “At this point I was deep into it, exhausted and overwhelmed by Kai, and I was just like, ‘Oh. OK. I’ll totally do that.’ (Laughs).”

Getting to play additional cult leader-like characters has been enjoyable for Peters, who adds, “Each character has been a new challenge. It helps that it lends itself well to Kai and what Kai is going through, which is my favorite part about the whole thing. It’s not something that comes out of nowhere, it’s actually grounded in the story. That made it more fun and made me want to do it even more.”

Still, the fun comes along with the fact that Peters is working harder on American Horror Story: Cult than on any other project he’s ever worked on — one that has “pushed him to the limit” both physically and mentally. He explains that he often isolates himself on set, because “Otherwise you go insane, which has happened a couple times throughout the season. I’ve never worked this much in my life, period, and I’ve never been in the show this much and had so much thrown at me.”