“I’m still trying to take what I can get! I’m not picking and choosing, it’s more, ‘Oh great, I got that so now I can try that.'” – Evan Peters on the Roles He Plays
For actors that were filming projects when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the sudden interruption caused some actors to have to juggle commitments once filming resuming. In the case of actor Evan Peters, he was in the process of filming the HBO crime drama Mare of Easttown in Philadelphia while filming Disney+’s WandaVision in Atlanta and Los Angeles. Speaking about both roles with Variety, Peters spoke about the difficulties of balancing two different television roles in a short period of time.
Peters says that his roles, like WandaVision, are really examples of him taking what he is offered. He explains, “I don’t know; I’m still trying to take what I can get! I’m not picking and choosing, it’s more, ‘Oh great, I got that so now I can try that.'”
Of course, this became challenging when Peters was filming two television series during the same period with completely different characters and tones. On managing the different characters at once, he says, “I definitely try to compartmentalize, but for each of them, I like to read stuff, watch stuff, get references to get into that headspace. When I was in Atlanta [for WandaVision] it was Full House and Malcolm in the Middle, and then when I was in Philly [for Mare of Easttown] I was watching The First 48 all the time.”
One of those challenges for Peters for Mare of Easttown was trying to master his character’s Philadelphia accent. He says, “We had a great dialect coach who worked with everybody on the show, and then I had this 25-minute recording of a guy named Steve Baylor, and it’s just, ‘What did you do this week?’ [Slips into the Delco accent] ‘Well, I did yard work all day Sunday, watched the Eagles…’ And he would just go on. And I felt like I knew this guy because every morning I would wake up and listen to it because I wanted to have that in my DNA. But then the pandemic hit and I had three weeks left of shooting so I planned to stop listening to this recording and just letting it go, but they were like, ‘We’re punting this until September,’ and it was, ‘Oh my God, I have to remember and hang onto this accent.’ I took down the listening from every day to once or twice a week, but I still really wanted to get that accent [right]. I’d never heard it before.”
Regarding his Mare of Easttown character — a police detective with a troubling past — Peters says it was important for him to know much of that backstory to grasp the character. He explains, “I wanted to know about what Colin’s backstory was because there is a secret that he’s keeping the whole time, so there is the underlying thing of, ‘How do we play that? How good is he? How much redemption does he want? What can we reveal without revealing too much?’”