The Most Talented Actor of His Generation: Evan Peters

Lately, everyone is talking about Evan Peters. People are calling him one of the best actors of his generation after watching his latest project, Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story. While the show was gory, terrifying, and heartbreaking, there is no denying that Peters’ performance was flawless on top of his already impressive resume.

Evan Peters / Jeffrey Dahmer / Evan Peters / Evan Peters / Emma Roberts and Evan Peters
Source: Getty Images

Peters is no stranger to playing dark characters as he is the most credited actor in the cult series American Horror Story. As of 2022, he has appeared in 100 episodes. Playing villains is his specialty, but the roles haven’t always been easy on Peters. See how he quickly rose to fame.

Humble Beginnings

He might be one of the biggest names in Hollywood right now, but Evan Peters came from humble beginnings. Born in January 1987 in St. Louis, Missouri, Peters was raised in a suburb outside the big city. He attended Catholic school but didn’t like it much because he never enjoyed school in general.

Evan Peters as a toddler is eating an ice cream.
Source: Facebook

When Peters was 14, he moved to Grand Blanc, Michigan, with his family, where he pursued modeling and took acting classes. He spent most of his school years dying to get out. His mom saw how much he wanted to be an actor, so she moved with him to LA when he was 15.

He Showed Early Signs of Talent

During his teen years, Peters began to blossom and turned acting into a hobby. His mother was very supportive of his dreams and even traveled to Florida with him for a talent conference. He reportedly won a few acting awards, and people saw he had potential as an actor.

A portrait of a young Evan Peters.
Source: Twitter

The conference was confirmation that Peters should pursue his dreams. His father, Phil, said, “The talent manager said that a year was enough time to know” if his son could make it in the competitive industry. So, his parents agreed to give him one year, and it didn’t take long for Peters to find work.

Commercial Work

When he got to LA, Peters began homeschooling to focus on his acting career. His earliest appearances were in commercials for Papa John’s Pizza,, and Albertsons. The bright-eyed youngster also acted in clips for Sony, PlayStation, Progressive Insurance, and Corn Pops. The ads kickstarted a busy year for Peters.

Evan Peters in a still from a Progressive Insurance commercial.
Source: YouTube

Peters recalled one of his more memorable commercial appearances was in an ad for Sour Patch Kids. He thought the producers would sweeten the deal by giving him Sour Patch Kids. Peters made the same mistake when he did the PlayStation commercial, but he didn’t get anything for free.

He Started Getting Noticed

Casting directors started to notice Peters, which helped him land roles on shows like Phil of the Future. His mom, Julie, said more offers “just kept coming. At the end of two years, he was able to pitch in and pay some of the bills.” He had fun with each job.

Evan Peters in a still from Sleepover.
Source: MGM

In 2004, Peters landed his first big movie role as Russell “SpongeBob” Hayes in Sleepover. He played a skater who liked to chase around the girls. However, Peters didn’t know how to skateboard, so the producers brought a professional to teach him. He wasn’t great, but it was enough for the movie.

He Took on Small Roles

As he started to gain more experience, Peters landed more serious supporting roles in films like An American Crime, Gardens of the Night, and Never Back Down. He also took on small roles in TV shows. Peters memorably played Michael Scott’s troublesome nephew in an episode of The Office.

Evan Peters and Sean Faris on the set of Never Back Down.
Source: Summit Entertainment

Peters appeared in episodes of The Mentalist, House, Monk, In Plain Sight, and Parenthood before landing another big film role in 2010. He portrayed Todd Haynes in the hit movie Kick-Ass, which took his career to new heights and helped Peters land his breakthrough role.

A Big Break

After a few years of small parts, Peters finally landed his breakthrough role in 2011 as teenager Tate Langdon on the first season of American Horror Story. The role put Peters on a path to playing dark and villainous characters throughout the series.

Evan Peters, Jessica Lange, and Frances Conroy in a still from AHS
Source: 20th Television

In Season 2 of AHS, Peters portrayed Kit Walker, a man wrongfully accused of killing his wife. This role earned the young actor a nomination for the Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor. Fans got to see Peters adapt to many different characters.

A Budding Romance

In 2013, Peters starred opposite Emma Roberts and John Cusack in the independent comedy Adult World. Their castmates assumed Peters and Roberts were dating while filming the movie, but Roberts said Peters barely talked to her on set because he thought she was weird.

Peters and Roberts in a still from AHS.
Source: 20th Television

However, when the movie wrapped, Peters made the first move by texting Roberts to ask her out. He told Vulture, “I had a crush on her, too.” Peters admitted that he was introverted and too shy to talk to her because he said the wrong things.

First Sign of Trouble

Peters and Roberts started having problems within the first year of their relationship. While staying at a hotel in Montreal in July 2013, another guest heard an argument coming from their room and called the police. Authorities reportedly discovered Peters with a bloody nose and a bite mark.

Roberts is seen crying in Peters arms.
Source: YouTube

Roberts was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence, but Peters didn’t press charges. She was then pictured crying in his arms after the fight, and the two released a statement. Their reps said, “It was an unfortunate incident and misunderstanding.”

He Popped the Question

Despite their troubles, Peters proposed to Roberts over the holidays in 2013. He gave her a pink and gold diamond ring just five months after their domestic violence incident. Roberts proudly showed off her ring on a few red carpets, including the Golden Globes and an AHS party.

A photo of Roberts and Peters.
Photo by Donato Sardella/WireImage/Getty Images

However, in June 2015, the two broke off their engagement because the “relationship just ran its course.” Sources claimed the breakup was amicable, and the pair remained friends. The split might have been because of Peters’ busy filming schedule during their three years together.

A Blockbuster Role

Peters and Roberts were in Montreal because he was in the midst of filming X-Men: Days of Future Past. He landed the role of mutant Peter Maximoff, aka Quicksilver. It was his first part in a Blockbuster hit, which grossed $746 million.

Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, and Evan Peters filming X-Men: Days of Future Past.
Source: Twentieth Century Fox

The busy filming schedule kept Peters in Canada for four months. He then returned to the US to film the horror film The Lazarus Effect and the fifth season of American Horror Story. Although The Lazarus Effect was a flop, it kept Peters quite busy.

Back Together

Peters and Roberts rekindled their romance three months after calling off their engagement. The two were spotted holding hands during a walk in LA in September 2015. They shared sweet snaps of each other on Valentine’s Day and for Peters’ birthday.

Emma and Evans lock eyes on the red carpet.
Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Unfortunately, the two broke up for a second time nine months later. They deleted all traces of each other from their social media accounts, and Roberts started dating someone else. Fans still hoped the pair would rekindle their romance, which they did in September 2016.

Done for Good

After a roller-coaster romance, Peters and Roberts called off their engagement again in March 2019. Roberts moved on with actor Garrett Hedlund. Close friends said Peters and Roberts were headed for a breakup because they weren’t meant to be together.

Emma Roberts and Evan Peters attend the 23rd Annual Critics' Choice Awards.
Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic/Getty Images

The two were better off as friends. Peters moved out of their shared home, and sources said it was a bad breakup. Some people just aren’t meant to be together, like these two. At least they can be cordial with one another in public and have mutual respect.

Taking on Dark Roles

While Peters took on many different parts, none of them were as memorable as his darker roles like those in American Horror Story. In the show’s fifth season, Peters played James Patrick March, a wealthy oil businessman and serial killer. He has proven to be awesome in every season.

Denis O’Hare and Evan Peters in AHS.
Source: 20th Television

Many actors have come and gone, but Peters has been asked to return to AHS again and again. He starred in nine of the show’s ten seasons, displaying his talents in many different characters. However, these roles have taken a toll on Peters.

It Took Time to Recover

In Season 7 of AHS, Peters portrayed cult leader Kai Anderson. The actor committed to the role, which took a toll on him. Show creator Ryan Murphy said, “Evan is CRIMINALLY underrated in this role. He really suffered while making it. It took him two years to recover.”

Evan Peters, Emma Roberts, and Ryan Murphy attend an event.
Photo by Jeff Vespa/Getty Images

Murphy said he had to force Peters to eat during their Thanksgiving dinner because he was still feeling “the darkness” from filming Season 7. Around the same time, Murphy and Peters were working on Season 1 of Pose, but the writer believed Peters needed a break from dark shows.

He Hates Screaming and Yelling

Peters said it was difficult for him to portray his intense AHS characters. He told GQ in 2018, “I’m goofy, I’m silly, I like to have fun. I don’t like to yell and scream. I hate it. I think it’s disgusting and awful, and it’s been challenging for me.”

Peters is seen screaming in a still from AHS.
Source: 20th Television

AHS has demanded a lot from Peters, which he said hurt his soul. Peters added, “There’s this massive amount of rage that’s called upon from me, and the emotional stuff that’s been called on me for Pose has been heartbreaking.”

He Skipped a Season

When producers were gearing up for AHS Season 9, they asked Peters to return. However, he decided to take the season off because he was exhausted and mentally drained. Peters said AHS made him go places he never wanted to, and it integrated into his life.

Evan Peters attends Giffoni Film Festival.
Photo by Stefania D’Alessandro/Getty Images

Peters said he would find himself screaming in traffic even though he had never done that before. He needed some time away from the show, but it wasn’t the same without him. Peters decided to return for the show’s tenth season.

Reprising His Role

After playing Peter Maximoff (Quicksilver) in X-Men: Days of Future Past, he reprised the role in 2016 for X-Men: Apocalypse and in 2019 for Dark Phoenix. It was a break from the harsher characters Peters portrayed, giving him a mental break.

Evan Peters and Elizabeth Olsen in a still from WandaVision.
Source: Disney Platform Distribution

Peters’ Marvel character also appeared in Deadpool 2 and WandaVision. Playing a superhero was much different than his roles in American Horror Story. However, something always drew Peters back to the darker, dramatic parts. He couldn’t stay away from serious projects.

Award Winner

It took years of hard work, but Peters’ dedication to his craft paid off in 2021. He starred in HBO’s Mare of Easttown, about a troubled police detective. His performance was so impressive, earning him an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited or Anthology Series.

Peters shows off his Emmy Award.
Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images

Everyone was impressed with his momentum on the small screen. During his acceptance speech, Peters thanked his parents for getting him to LA and promised to buy them a drink. He ended the speech by thanking “Kate Winslet for being Kate Winslet.”

The Role of a Lifetime

Although the dark roles took a toll on Peters, he couldn’t turn down the opportunity to play serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer in Netflix’s Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story. Peters was even more inclined to be part of the project because Ryan Murphy created the miniseries.

Evan Peters as Jeffrey Dahmer is arrested.
Source: Netflix

Peters and Murphy had a long relationship because they worked together for nine seasons of American Horror Story and Pose. They trusted each other, and Murphy knew Peters was a strong enough actor to take on the role of Dahmer.

He Was Scared

Peters said portraying serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer was “one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do in my life.” Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story follows the shocking murders of 17 young men and boys at the hands of the Milwaukee killer between 1978 and 1991.

Peters and Jenkins in a still from Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.
Source: Netflix

The actor told Netflix he was scared to play the serial killer because of Dahmer’s horrific past. He had to go to dark places to get into the mindset of the killer. Peters watched the Stone Phillips interview with Dahmer and read his 1992 confession to prepare for the part.

Becoming Dahmer

Peters wanted to make sure he would sound Dahmer, so he listened to recordings of the killer speaking to a psychologist and detective. Peters knew it would be important to give an “authentic” performance to respect the victims and their families.

Evan Peters / Jeffery Dahmer
Source: YouTube

Peters said, “I was very scared about all the things that he did and diving into that and trying to commit to that was absolutely going to be one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.” However, he knew he had to go to dark places for the role.

They Helped Him

Due to the heavy nature of the role, Peters had to go to dark places and stay there for extended periods. While that would be hard on any actor, he credited the crew for keeping him stable throughout the filming process.

Peters, as Dahmer, is dancing in a club.
Source: Netflix

Peters said the crew helped him stay “on the guard rails” and that he couldn’t have completed the project without them. He shared, “It was a challenge to have this person who was seemingly so normal, but underneath it all, had this entire world that he kept a secret from everybody.”

Mixed Responses

While the show has become one of Netflix’s highest-performing series, beating the previously held record by Squid Games, many criticized it for glamorizing Dahmer’s crimes. Although many critics and viewers say this is some of Peters’ best acting, others feel it sends the wrong message.

Peters, as Dahmer, sits in court.
Source: Netflix

Because many people are impressed with Peters’ acting abilities, viewers have pointed out that his portrayal has caused some to romanticize Dahmer and his actions. Peters, along with the rest of the cast and crew, hoped the series wouldn’t make viewers glamorize Dahmer.

His One Rule

When Peters signed on for the project, he and the cast had one rule for creator Ryan Murphy. They didn’t want the story to be told from Dahmer’s point of view. Peters said, “As an audience, you’re not really sympathizing with him. You’re more sort of watching it from the outside.”

Evan Peters speaks during the press conference.
Photo by JTBC PLUS/Imazins/Getty Images

Peters added, “It’s not just him and his backstory; it’s the repercussions. It’s the society; it’s how society and our system failed to stop him multiple times because of racism and homophobia.” He never wanted people to feel bad for Dahmer.

He’s Not Returning

Although Peters was a mainstay in nine seasons of American Horror Story, he will not be returning for the show’s 11th season. After so many years of playing dark characters, Peters needs a break, especially coming off the Dahmer series.

Evan Peters attends an event.
Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

The Season 11 release date was recently announced, but people were disappointed to hear that Peters would not be part of the main cast. People have loved his performances in each of the seasons, but his loyal fans will understand why he has chosen not to return.

The Real Reason He Started Acting

When Peters was a teenager, his love of acting began with an innocent childhood crush. He did have a passion for acting, but he also wanted to meet the Olsen twins. His goal was to catch up to the famous twins because he was the same age as them.

Evan Peters / Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen.
Source: Getty Images

He finally got to meet them at the premiere of New York Minute, but he got so nervous and “blew it.” While Peters didn’t get to date an Olsen twin, he appeared opposite their younger sister Elizabeth in WandaVision.

Another Romance

After splitting from Roberts, Peters started dating Halsey in 2019. Rumors of their romance began in October, and sources said the two were “happily attached at the hip.” After the news hit the headlines, fans discovered Halsey had a crush on Peters for years.

Evan Peters and Halsey attend
Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic/Getty Images

In 2012, Halsey tweeted, “Seriously, Evan Peters stop making me attracted to alleged sociopaths and accused murderers.” The two cozied up at Halsey’s home because they didn’t want to be apart. It seemed like Peters and Halsey were very happy together.

It Didn’t Work Out

Peters and Halsey dated for about a year and even traveled to Switzerland for Valentine’s Day. But a month later, she dramatically removed all pictures of Peters from her social media. The two went their separate ways when Halsey rekindled her romance with Yungblud.

Evan Peters attends an event.
Photo by Paul Butterfield/Getty Images

Since the pair split, it appears Peters has decided to focus on his work instead of starting a new relationship. He hasn’t been pictured with anyone new recently, but he must be an eligible bachelor, considering he is currently one of the most talked about actors.

A History of Horror

Some of Peters’ earliest childhood memories involved the horror genre. His older sister showed him Hellraiser when she was about four years old. She also showed him Friday the 13th, which Peters said scarred him, but it taught him to watch scary movies with a buddy.

Evan Peters attends the
Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Peters’ sister must have sparked his interest in spooky TV shows. In an interview for Hunger, Peters recalled that he started watching Nickelodeon’s Are You Afraid of the Dark in third grade. However, nothing could have prepared him for working with Ryan Murphy.

No Free Time

When Peters started landing more roles, his schedule became quite hectic. He said it was hard to hang out with his castmates after a long day of filming because he wanted time to decompress and watch TV. He devoted much of his youthful energy to an array of projects.

Bryan Singer talks to Peters on the set of X-Men: Apocalypse.
Source: Twentieth Century Fox

Unfortunately, having no free time led to burnout. They shot for several hours and had long days that took up most of Peters’ time. Part of his work ethic also spoiled over into his personal life in negative ways. He said he lost touch with his family and friends.

How Much Is Evan Peters Worth?

Having been in the industry since he was a teenager, Peters has amassed a net worth of about $4 million as of 2022. Between his work on American Horror Story, commercials, and films, the actor has racked up a sizeable amount of money.

Peters in a still from Mare of Eastown.
Source: HBO

While he may not be worth as much as some of his Hollywood counterparts, he has worked hard to get to where he is today. Peters is a midwestern boy at heart and has spent some of his fortune on things like popcorn and going to the movies.

He Can Keep a Secret

Working on shows like American Horror Story and WandaVision, Peters has had to be tight-lipped about his work in many situations to prevent leaking spoilers. Fans and Elizabeth Olsen were shocked when he appeared on WandaVision. Olsen said, “This is the first time we’re merging! This is crazy!”

Olsen and Peters in a still from WandaVision.
Source: Disney Platform Distribution

Peters had to arrive on set in a cloak with an umbrella to keep his identity hidden. This was nothing new for Peters because he had to be secretive about American Horror Story. The series didn’t want anyone to find out details about the show before it aired.

Giving Back to Others

Not only is Peters a terrific actor, but he is also quite charitable. He uses his star power to give back to organizations he believes in. He worked with Omaze to give donors a chance to have lunch with him or earn a walk-on role in American Horror Story.

A photo of Evan Peters.
Source: Small Steps Project

The proceeds of the fundraiser went towards Children’s Hospital LA. Peters has also donated his shoes and hand-painted sneakers to Small Steps Project. The organization provides aid and footwear to children in need. He has also worked with organizations that benefit cancer research.

He’s a Big Fan

While Peters tends to play darker characters, he is a diverse actor because he can do drama, comedy, and sinister roles. However, when Peters sat down with GQ in 2017, he shared his favorite actors, who were surprisingly all comedians.

Evan Peters speaks at Comic-Con.
Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

Peters listed Jim Carrey, Robin Williams, Tom Hanks, and Chris Farley as his favorite actors. He said, “Robin Williams is the best – to be able to do all that comedy but also be heartbreaking.” Many of his favorite actors have shown their diversity, like Peters.

Awkward Moment

As an actor, there have been some uncomfortable moments while filming projects. Peters experienced one of the most awkward moments while filming American Horror Story Season 2. He had to wear a sock over his genitals while filming in a hospital gown.

Evan Peters in a still from AHS.
Source: 20th Television

He thought he was covered enough, but when he bent down, he realized there was a breeze. Peters exposed a little too much, and his co-stars Jessica Lange and Sarah Paulson saw it all. He told Conan O’Brien that his genital covers didn’t cover everything.

He’s Got Ink

In case you didn’t know, Peters has two tattoos. His mom only allowed him to get a tattoo if it had the word “mom” in it, so that’s what he did. His two tattoos are the word mom and a thumbs-up on his right hand. However, he regretted the tattoo.

Peters is getting his MOM tattoo.
Source: Twitter

Whenever he has to film, Peters’ tattoos have to be covered. Since the thumbs-up is in such an obvious place, it usually is covered with makeup. It’s kind of a hassle because he has to spend extra time in the makeup chair before filming.

He Used to Knit

If you need another reason to love Peters, we have one. The actor admitted that he used to enjoy knitting. However, he gave up his hobby to spend more time socializing with people. We can imagine Peters sitting at home, knitting in front of the TV.

Peters shows off a knit hat he made.
Source: Facebook

Peters said, “Now I just read or listen to music or search online and hang out and talk to people. There are so many people at work who are interesting to talk to and learn from, so I’m trying to do that a little more.”

Famous Classmates

When Peters moved to LA at 15, he initially attended Burbank High School before switching to homeschooling. During his time at school, he was classmates with another future star, Blake Lively. Unfortunately, the two never became friends in the hallways.

A photo of Even Peters as a young boy.
Source: Facebook

The actor said Lively was known as the “hot, popular girl,” similar to her character in Gossip Girl. Peters mostly hung out with the regular kids who played video games and guitar. He wasn’t considered a nerd, but he wasn’t popular like Lively. However, the two reunited when they became famous.

He Does His Own Stunts

When Peters filmed X-Men: Dark Phoenix in 2019, he performed most of his own stunts. Many special effects go into creating his scenes, but he does everything a stunt person would do. He explained that most of his scenes weren’t complicated, but the special effects made them look that way.

Peters is filming a scene from X-Men: Apocalypse.
Source: Twentieth Century Fox

Peters humbly said, “The team is incredible, and they sort of set it all up, and then I get to screw it all up.” Because his character is supposed to move at supersonic speed, everyone around him has to act frozen, so he appears fast.