No stranger to macabre characters, actor Evan Peters is embodying one of history’s most notorious serial killers for a new TV series.
The “American Horror Story” star plays the title role in “Dahmer ― Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story,” due out next week. On Friday, Netflix unveiled the first trailer for the 10-episode series, showing a chilling exchange between Peters’ Dahmer and neighbor Glenda Cleveland, portrayed by Niecy Nash.
“Dahmer ― Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” is co-created by Ryan Murphy, who said he aimed to “shine a spotlight on the as-yet untold stories of Dahmer’s victims, the people who tried to stop him, and the systemic failures that enabled him to continue his murderous spree for over a decade.”
Other actors set to appear in the series include Richard Jenkins, Michael Learned and Molly Ringwald.
The Wisconsin-born Dahmer, alternately known as the “Milwaukee Cannibal” and the “Milwaukee Monster,” murdered and dismembered 17 men and boys from 1978 to 1991. He also committed necrophilia and cannibalism on several of his victims, many of whom were people of color and some underage.
View the trailer for “Dahmer ― Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” below.
Convicted of 16 murders, Dahmer died in 1994 at age 34 after being beaten by Christopher Scarver, a fellow inmate at Wisconsin’s Columbia Correctional Institution.
Dahmer’s life and crimes have inspired countless documentaries, along with several movies and a stage play. The 2002 horror film “Dahmer” starred Jeremy Renner in the title role, while Disney Channel actor Ross Lynch portayed the serial killer during his teen years in 2017’s “My Friend Dahmer,” based on John “Derf” Backderf’s graphic novel of the same name.
But “Dahmer ― Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” differs from previous dramatizations in that it views the case through the topical lens of white privilege. Each of the episodes zooms in on an instance where Dahmer ― described in press notes as “a clean-cut, good-looking white guy” ― was given a free pass by lenient cops and judges.
In a video interview for Netflix, Peters said playing Dahmer was “one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do in my life.”
“It was so jaw-dropping that it all really happened,” he explained. “I wanted it to be very authentic, but in order to do that, I was going to have to go to really dark places and stay there for an extended period of time.”
Noting that “everybody gets their side of the story told,” Peters added, “It’s how society and our system failed to stop him multiple times because of racism, homophobia. It’s just a tragic story.”
“Dahmer ― Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” hits Netflix Sept. 21.