Evan Peters brought a killer to life in Ryan Murphy’s new Netflix limited series Dahmer - Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.
It’s alarming to watch him embody such a sinister character—but if you’re a fan of the actor, you probably know that this is not the first villainous man he’s portrayed. In fact, Peters and Murphy have teamed up many times in the past to bring treacherous characters to the screen.
In addition to Jeffrey Dahmer, here are Evan Peters’ most memorable wicked characters.
Dahmer - Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story - Jeffrey Dahmer
From the mannerisms to the voice to the all-around uneasy feeling he gives people, Evan Peters clearly did his homework in order to bring Dahmer to life.
The actor shared in an interview with Netflix that he watched the Stone Phillips interview with the convicted criminal to inform his acting choices, taking note of the “docile” and “dissociative” mannerisms:
His methods were successful: Watching him as the infamous serial killer feels almost like watching behind the scenes footage of the real man.
American Horror Story - Tate Langdon
Peters’ first collaboration with Ryan Murphy was on Season 1 of American Horror Story (retroactively named Murder House). He played Tate Langdon, a tortured teen boy who committed a deadly school shooting while he was alive. Now trapped in the Murder House as a spirit, Tate has repressed the memory of what he did to his peers.
Tate is lovable and has a good heart—or so we think. The more we learn about him, the less we understand what could compel a person to open fire on their classmates. The star brings the character to life, illustrating the boy's twisted mind and the victim complex that fuels his hatred of society.
American Horror Story: Hotel - James March
After playing protagonists for several seasons, Evan Peters returned to his evil roots in American Horror Story: Hotel to portray the prolific serial killer, James March.
This is a fictional character, although he’s rumored to be based on a real-life serial killer, H.H. Holmes. Like March, Holmes made a hotel meticulously suited to carry out his murders.
The villainy continues at March’s Devil’s Night Party, where a host of serial killers are invited to dine at the hotel with him. Aileen Wuornos, John Wayne Gacy, and the Zodiac Killer all show up—along with none other than Jeffrey Dahmer.
American Horror Story: Cult - Kai Anderson
He gave me chills again in American Horror Story: Cult as Kai Anderson, the egotistical and psychopathic cult leader.
Kai is scary enough to go head to head with real cult leaders throughout history—but luckily, Peters portrays many of those evil men in AHS: Cult as well. Throughout the season, we see him as Marshall Applewhite (the founder of the Heaven’s Gate cult), David Koresh (the leader of the Branch Davidians), Jim Jones (the founder of the Jonestown commune), and Charles Manson (the leader of the Manson Family).
Kai uses stories of these famous cult leaders to explain his master plan to his followers—reminding us that he aspires to become just as infamous as his predecessors.
American Animals - Warren Lipka
He tackled a different type of villain in American Animals, a 2018 film based on the true story of a heist that occurred at Transylvania University in 2004.
Peters starred as Warren Lipka, an anarchist student who formulates a plan to steal rare books from his university’s library. If he and his friends can successfully get past the kindly librarian who guards the priceless books, they’ll be set for life (or at least that’s what he tells them, based on the quote he got from black-market buyers in Amsterdam). He serves as the instigator of the crime, forcing his co-conspirators to continue with the plan even when they express real hesitation.
These crimes don’t hold a candle to those from men like Dahmer or Holmes, but there is something truly terrifying about the manic, uncaring way Lipka deals with the terrified librarian. At the end of the film, one of the real thieves even shares that he thinks he lied about the buyers in Amsterdam in order to convince his friends to go through with the heist. All four of the boys, including their ring leader, spent time in federal prison for their crimes.
WandaVision - Pietro Maximoff / Ralph Bohner
In a surprise guest appearance, Evan Peters joined the cast of WandaVision to reprise his X-Men role, Peter/Pietro Maximoff.
The cross-over between the Avengers universe and the X-Men universe was rather shocking to viewers, since he had never appeared as Pietro alongside Elizabeth Olsen in the MCU—but the meta casting choice began to make perfect sense when it was revealed that his character was an impostor all along.
Peters’ “Pietro” is actually Ralph Bohner, a Westview resident under Agatha Harkness’s control. The most villainous part of the whole thing was convincing MCU fans that we were on the cusp of an Avengers/X-Men crossover.
Honorable Mention: The Office - Luke
Okay, so Michael’s nephew, Luke, isn’t exactly a villain, but he did try to burn Andy’s eye with a laser.
His one-episode stint on The Office as Luke, a nepotism hire, ends with Michael bending him over a desk and spanking him—although he kind of deserved it. He goes out of his way to annoy his new coworkers and disrupt the work day. If you’ve ever had a coworker like that, you’ll understand why we see Luke as one of Evan Peters’ villains.
Dahmer - Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story is available to stream with a Netflix subscription.
She/her. Lover of female-led comedies, Saturday Night Live, and THAT scene in Fleabag. Will probably get up halfway through the movie to add more butter to the popcorn.