HGS: Who’s been your favorite character to play on the show?
EP: Mr. March was my favorite. He was such a tragic character. I love that Art Deco period of the 1930s. Playing a very wealthy person who doesn’t have a care in the world, including a conscience, is always fun to play. The sets were like champagne sets—so beautiful, so well done, unbelievable to play around in. To pretend that I, as Mr. March, created all that was really fun.
HGS: Are you a fan of the horror genre?
A supernatural horror series from Netflix, Stranger Things is written and directed by Matt and Ross Duffer, and executive produced by Shawn Levy. A homage to movies of the 1980s in style and tone, it stars Winona Ryder alongside a cast of up-and-coming young actors. The first season aired summer 2016, with the second commissioned by Netflix for a 2017 release.
Friday the 13th
A slasher movie released in 1980, Friday the 13this considered a classic of the genre. It was made for $550,000 and went on to gross over $39 million. The film became a franchise, with 11 follow-up movies creating the series, as well as a TV show and several novels. The film’s murderous character of Jason has since become a horror archetype.
Based on the Marvel comic book superhero gang The X-Men, the film franchise began with X-Men and was followed by nine subsequent linking films in the series, including Deadpool and The Wolverine. The latest in the series, X-Men: Apocalypse stars Jennifer Lawrence, Oscar Isaacs, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Elizabeth Olsen and Evan Peters. It was directed by Bryan Singer, who has directed three previous X-Men movies, including the original.
EP: Originally, I didn’t like horror movies; they scared me. But then, working on the show, I got desensitized—you discover, well, it’s not real. Then you just want to know how they do make something scary and real. I really liked the Netflix show Stranger Things. I love the ’80s nostalgia feeling. I love how dark it was shot. I love ’80s horror movies, like Friday the 13th. I like the way those films look, the lighting, and the soundtrack—that breathing sound—you just picture watching it at a drive-in movie theatre. I love drive-ins.
HGS: I’m assuming you’re definitely in the next X-Men movie—do you know much about what that will look like yet? I have seen some reports saying it will focus more on the newer characters, like you.
EP: Oh, I would love that. I love Quicksilver. It was so fun to work on; I’d be honored to do another one.
HGS: I read that you started out loving comedy, especially Jim Carrey movies. You bring a lot of humor to the character of Quicksilver and have some of the funniest moments in the movie—did this appeal to you when working on the role?
EP: They let us play around a lot. We improvise. They let the scene run at the end and you can mess around. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it fails miserably. Bryan Singer is good like that. I’m in a grey wig, Jen[nifer Lawrence, who plays Mystique] is in blue paint—it’s a crazy atmosphere—and you have to have a sense of humor about it all.
Quicksilver is a light character. He’s cocky. He’s the fastest man in the world, I guess, unless there was a race with him and Superman and the Flash…then I don’t know what would happen. He has an arrogance that lends itself to a cheeky humor. I like the technicality of it too. The Quicksilver sequences are fun and challenging to shoot and then the second unit guys make it all come to life.
“Quicksilver is a light character. He’s cocky.
He’s the fastest man in the world, I guess, unless
there was a race with him and Superman and
the Flash…then I don’t know what would happen.”
— Evan Peters
HGS: You moved to LA when you were 15. What was your first impression of this town?
EP: I look back and realize it was quite a life-changing decision that I just made sort of willy-nilly. I just thought it would be awesome and fun to come out here and act. My parents have always been very supportive and checked in, during those early days, that I was still happy to do it. We had just moved to Michigan. I thought, “Well, if my dad can move to Michigan from Missouri and start a new job, then I can move to LA and act.” (Laughs)
Moving to LA from Missouri was such a culture shock—it was so diverse and different. So many cars; so much traffic. When I got my license (I failed twice because driving in LA is a little more difficult than in Missouri), I would drive around, listening to loud music, rocking out. No one seemed to care, that was the thing. In St. Louis, Missouri you wouldn’t be able to do that—you’d get looks left and right. I saw how invisible you became in this sea of people. I ended up really liking that. I love it now. I’ve been here now almost as long as I’ve been in St. Louis. It’s as equal a home to me.
HGS: Do you have a favorite place where you go to watch movies in LA?
Released in 1994, Forrest Gump is a comedy-drama starring Tom Hanks, based on the novel of the same name. It follows one man’s life across several eventful American decades, as he witnesses and participates in various significant historical events. The film took six Academy Awards that year, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Tom Hanks.
EP: It’s always different. I go to the Arclight, the Grove, the Americana and the Los Feliz theatre. It depends on where my friends want to meet. I’m a huge popcorn guy—I don’t care where we are as long as the popcorn is up to snuff. I could watch anything; I could watch the biggest pile of crap and still have a shit-eating grin on my face the whole time as long as I’m eating that large popcorn. In South Africa, I recently found, they have plain popcorn and then they have these flavored powder packets—salt and cheese and so on. It was really good and very different.
HGS: Do you remember what your favorite movie was when you were 15 and you had just moved to LA?
EP: Forrest Gump, I think. The comedy, the drama and then fucking Tom Hanks. He’s hilarious, heartbreaking, everything in that movie. It was one of those epic Academy-Award winning, popular, critically-acclaimed films. I hope one day I can be a part of something like that.