Evan Peters moved to LA at 15 from St. Louis, Missouri, to pursue acting. With early turns in the likes of classic teen TV show One Tree Hill, he got noticed for his role as Todd Haynes in the original Kick-Ass. From there he was chosen for Ryan Murphy’s central cast on the groundbreaking American Horror Story, in which he plays a new character within a new storyline each season. Evan was introduced as the fastest mutant in the land, Quicksilver, in 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past, reprising the role in 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse.
American Horror Story
A horror anthology television series created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, American Horror Story starts afresh with each new season—same core cast, but a completely new storyline, theme and setting. The FX show stars Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters. Guest stars have included Lady Gaga. There have been five seasons so far, with the sixth premiering September 2016.
Actor Evan Peters has spent the last few weeks promoting the upcoming season of American Horror Story. A parade of journalists have each tried their best to get out of him the details of what’s to come for this notoriously secretive show, but he’s kept mum. Six seasons deep as a central cast member, Peters is a pro at maintaining the surprise element that keeps audiences hooked. He’s just left behind one of the more successful blockbusters of the summer season, X-Men: Apocalypse, in which he stole every scene with his witty, light-handed portrayal of Quicksilver (a role he’s bound to resume in another year or so). So, what’s in the future for Peters? He’s not one for spoilers, but we’re sure whatever happens, it will be edge-of-your-seat exciting.
Holly Grigg-Spall: Where in the world are you right now?
Evan Peters: Los Angeles. I live here. I’m originally from St. Louis, Missouri, but I’ve been out here since 2002.
HGS: In every season of American Horror Story, you get to play a different character. That must be a great situation in terms of TV-based acting . You don’t ever have to worry about getting typecast.
EP: Absolutely. It’s a dream come true to not be pigeonholed. I’ve been playing these characters for seven years and each time I get to challenge myself and stretch myself. We didn’t know when we signed on that it was going to be like that, and then it was just the best Christmas gift ever to have that opportunity. It’s been awesome.
HGS: I remember watching the first season of the show and it was really one of those “what the hell?” things—it didn’t fit any category, and it was melodramatic, bizarre and weird. Has Ryan Murphy ever asked you to do something on the show where you’re like, “You need to explain this to me.”
EP: Every season I have had some questions, sure, but for the first season I do remember calling up Ryan and asking him, “What’s going on? What happens? Please give me some hints so I’m not completely in the dark.” Sometimes it works to your advantage to not know, because then you can just go off your gut. As an audience member, it’s intriguing to not know what’s going on in the show—it keeps you watching. But as an actor, it can be confusing to not know why you’re doing something, your motivation or how to even play it, so sometimes you’ve got to get on a call and have Ryan explain it to you. Then, and only then, do they reveal what might happen to your character.
“As an audience member, it’s intriguing
to not know what’s going on in the
show, it keeps you watching. But as an
actor, it can be confusing to not
know why you’re doing something, your
motivation, or how to even play it.”
— Evan Peters
It’s a very secretive show, even when you’re working on it. They don’t want details to get out and ruin the surprise. I can appreciate that. I hate it when things are spoiled. I don’t really like to watch trailers. I don’t like it when you go to a movie and your friends start telling you about it ahead of time. I prefer to go in not knowing anything.
I’m very excited for people to be shocked and surprised by what this new season of American Horror Story holds. It’s such a wild ride this time. I want to get a bunch of friends together to watch the first episode and see their jaws drop.
HGS: If it were solely down to you, what theme would you choose for a future season of American Horror Story?
EP: I keep going into space—to me space is terrifying. Maybe a space station with a mechanical problem brought on by a creature or alien being. I’d like to do that out in space with all that terrifying, freezing zero-atmosphere around the station. That trapped feeling. It’s been done many a time before, but I think the writers would do something different with it and make it interesting, new and fresh. They could do some great social commentary too. I’m sure they’d say something about the way the world is headed.
HGS: I assume Ryan Murphy has to keep a lot from you so you have plausible deniability. Have you ever been tempted just to drop a lie to a journalist and see how far it travels?
EP: Ninety percent of the show I just don’t know. I don’t know what’s going on. I’m really excited to see it, myself. But yeah, I could do that—find the mole, find the rat. That would be really scary though. I’d get in a lot of trouble for that. I’m trying to stay out of trouble. I don’t want to be the one that ruins it all.