'American Horror Story: Asylum': Q&A with Evan Peters
By By Zach Sparks
Oct 30, 2012 | 3:21 PM
For Season 2 of "American Horror Story" (10 p.m. Wednesdays, FX), co-creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk flipped the script by changing characters, plotlines and the show's setting from the "Murder House" to the dank and chilling Briarcliff Manor mental asylum. Evan Peters played mentally-unstable serial killer Tate in the show's first season and is now playing asylum patient Kit. Born in St. Louis, Peters, 25, flew to Los Angeles with his mom and pursued his acting career, which has included roles in "Kick-Ass" and appearances on "The Office," and "House."
Peters chatted with us about the differences between Tate and Kit and the show's creepy set.
I hope it's not too early in Los Angeles. Are you more of a morning person or do you enjoy sleeping in?
I'm a morning person today. [Laughs]
You like working on shows like "American Horror Story" that are horrific and gory. Are you ever surprised by something Ryan Murphy asks you to do or are you just used to it by now?
In the beginning, he told me the character Kit was going to be completely different than Tate. For some reason, I thought it was going to be sunshine and rainbows. I don't know what I was thinking [Laughs]. Kit goes through a lot of torture but it's what you sign up for as an actor.
What are your favorite scenes from either season of "American Horror Story"?
There were two scenes, the school shooting scene and the scene where I got shot up [in Season 1]. The school shooting scene was so scary and the second one where I was getting shot with a barrage of squibs to simulate bullet fire. I've never done anything like that.
Your character did a lot of crying in season one. Do you think Kit is less of an emotional character?
He is and he isn't. There is definitely less crying as Kit, which I was thankful for. It's hard to just go in and be happy in a scene or go in and be sad in a scene. You have to feel it out.
The set in season one for the house was pretty scary-looking. Would you say the set for the asylum is scarier?
I think this season is much scarier. The first season was creepy because the basement was old and rickety and you had the creature down there. The asylum has the bleak ward with the padded walls. And Dr. Arden's laboratory is insane with brains and the death chute.
You worked with John Cusack and Cloris Leachman in the upcoming film "Adult World." They've been around the block as actors. Did they share any of their wisdom with you?
They all seem really relaxed. I notice that with all the seasoned actors on "American Horror Story" as well. It's interesting that what you see on set doesn't seem like much but then you see how it turns out and it's like, wow it's amazing.
Do you think TV allows you to be freer because you have more takes in between?
I think you get less takes on TV than in movies. Scott Coffey [the director of "Adult World"] was amazing. He would just let the camera roll, so you could deviate [from the script] and go back. He left certain parts open-ended. Another thing about movies is they don't always have ends before they get shot. Also, for "American Horror Story," we kind of have no idea where the episodes are going. Sometimes, we don't know what to act out because we don't know what's coming next.
So I know we have a ways to go before the second season is done airing, and Ryan and Brad tend to keep details to themselves, but do you have any idea if you'll be returning for Season 3?
I have no idea. Their plan is to make it different each season. It's a miniseries, not a television show, so it's kind of like watching a movie. At the end of last season, I was pretty worn out. It gets exhausting, but I'd like to come back. I think I need to do a comedy in between though. [Laughs]