Before becoming a repertory player in the sordid world of American Horror Story, actor Evan Peters could be found (mostly briefly) on all kinds of TV shows, but appearances on One Tree Hill and Monk weren’t really good introductory courses for a career with close ties to the boundary-pushing AHS co-creator Ryan Murphy. That probably makes it easy for Peters to recall one of the earliest days on the American Horror Story set, where he was initiated into Murphy’s creative vision in a particularly gruesome fashion.
I remember one of the first days, we were shooting a scene and Ryan goes, ‘Ok, I want to have blood poured all over Evan right now, we’re going to put him in the corner and turn the camera on and it’s going to be great.’ You know how Ryan works, he’s very creative, it’s his show so he’s writing it and creating it as he’s directing. It’s very cool working with him and it’s very impulsive, I like that.
I’m pretty sure at least half of the jobs I had earlier in my life would have been made worlds more interesting had my training period included being put into a corner with blood poured all over me. There are lots of things that Evan Peters had to do on American Horror Story that I definitely wouldn’t want to include in my daily occupational schedule – including most of his scenes as the molested Franken-lover in Coven – but I could take an afternoon of being blood-soaked every so often.
Even though this was the very beginning of American Horror Story, which gave TV audiences a wholly different side of the Glee creator, it’s still not very surprising that Ryan Murphy immediately got into spouting off random oddball ideas for how to shoot a scene on this show. (“This moment needs more Minotaur!”) Much better for Evan Peters to get used to that kind of production atmosphere right away rather than being led to believe that the show was going to be a clean and unsticky breeze to create.
Let’s not forget that the first season, Murder House, also put Peters into situations where he got shot by a SWAT team, where he was kind of buddies with a scary as shit basement monster, and where he put on a rubber suit and raped the mother of his soon-to-be-crush and fathered one of her siblings. And things only got worse from there for Peters’ characters. So in the long run, not such a bad way to get used to a filmmaker’s approach.
The actor told Hero magazine (via Huffington Post) that he credits the first season of American Horror Story for making him want to really try hard not to fuck up as an actor. Also that he had to start working out and eating right. (Because nothing kills an appetite like an AHS death.) But it all definitely worked out for Peters, as he’s been a TV mainstay ever since and has built up his big screen cred as Quicksilver in the X-Men films.
Evan Peters will presumably be back for Season 6 later this year. Who knows what liquids he’ll be doused in this time?