Evan Peters on His ‘American Horror Story’ Roles: “It’s been all a massive stretch for me”


Actor Evan Peters in American Horror Story

“It’s not that I’m pigeonholed as one character, but all the darker stuff gets more thrown at you. In a way, I have to prove that I’m not this crazy guy” – Evan Peters

American Horror Story regular Evan Peters likely appreciates the fact that series creator Ryan Murphy has cast him in the series since the first season and also cast him in the bleak series Pose — but as he tells GQ, he really hopes that he could get away from such creepy and intense roles in his future work.

Peters reveals that he intends to back away from roles with the level of intensity of his recent projects. He says, “I’m not doing it anymore. I just made a decision. I said to myself, ‘I can’t do it anymore.’ It’s not me. It’s not who I am! … I’m goofy, I’m silly, I like to have fun. I don’t like to yell and scream. I actually hate it. I think it’s disgusting and really awful, and it’s been a challenge for me. Horror Story sort of demanded that of me.”

The actor goes on to say that he finds it personally difficult to play these types of roles one after another, adding, “It’s been all a massive stretch for me and really difficult to do. It’s hurting my soul and Evan as a person. There’s this massive amount of rage that’s been called upon from me, and the emotional stuff that’s been called on me for Pose has been heartbreaking, and I’m sick. I don’t feel good.”

With that said, Peters admits that he’s always willing to work when asked but also says that he still hopes to be able to follow a more comedic route. He continues, “I’ve always consistently been trying to just be able to work. [laughs] A lot of turns I didn’t know I was going to be taking. You rise to the occasion, but I never quite wanted to go that route. My favorite actors are Jim Carrey and Chris Farley, Tom Hanks, Robin Williams. Robin Williams is the best—to be able to do all that comedy but also be heartbreaking.”

So what is it about roles like the ones he has had on American Horror Story that he finds so challenging? Peters responds, “It’s just exhausting. It’s really mentally draining, and you don’t want to go to those places ever in your life. And so you have to go there for the scenes, and it ends up integrating it somehow into your life. You’re in traffic and you find yourself screaming and you’re like, What the hell? This isn’t who I am. I fight really hard to combat that and make sure that I’m watching comedies and hanging out with my fiancée [actress Emma Roberts]and chilling with friends and watching movies.”
What he finds most challenging about these parts is the sex scenes — particularly because of his age. He explains, “Almost every role, there’s been some sort of weird sex scene, and sex scenes are not easy to do. They’re very embarrassing, especially when you’re in your twenties and you’re still awkward.”
Peters reveals that he believes his list of credits might prevent someone from offering him lighter roles — but he certainly isn’t opposed to that type of work. He says, “It’s not that I’m pigeonholed as one character, but all the darker stuff gets more thrown at you. In a way, I have to prove that I’m not this crazy guy, which is fine. I just get to be myself now. I would love to go out for a romantic comedy. It’s just a matter of opening that door to them and fighting for them when they come along.”

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