‚ÄúAmerican Horror Story: Coven‚Äôs‚ÄĚ Kylenstein,¬†Evan Peters, is a veteran of the Ryan Murphy repertory company that gets to act in the zany anthology drama, a new episode of which airs Wednesday (Nov. 6) at 9 p.m. on¬†FX. Like so many of his fellow actors on the show, he was all-in for the New Orleans season before he knew much about who or what — or how many — he‚Äôd be playing.
Introduced as a local fraternity man in the show‚Äôs premiere, Peters‚Äô character becomes several characters in one when two coven students conjure him back to life, kinda, after a bummer of a non-accidental bus crash. Peters got a hint of Kyle‚Äôs arc during a preseason talk with Murphy, the show‚Äôs co-creator and executive producer.
‚ÄúI wanted to know what my character was going to be like before we started shooting, not because I had any say in whether I would do it — I would obviously do it ‚Äď but I was just curious,‚ÄĚ Peters said during a recent visit to a suburban location shoot for the show. ‚ÄúHe said, ‚ÄėIt’s Frankenstein.‚Äô I said, ‚ÄėOh, really?‚Äô‚ÄĚ
Then Peters said ‚ÄėYes‚Äô to the role.
As if ‚ÄėNo‚Äô were ever even on the table. Or slab, in this case.
‚ÄúI was really intrigued by that,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúTerrified as well, because it’s a very difficult role. I watched all the old Frankenstein movies, as well as the new one (1994) with Robert De Niro. I even found a ‚ÄėFrankenstein‚Äô TV show at one point.‚ÄĚ
Aside: The musical-episode possibilities with this character, given Peter Boyle‚Äôs timeless performance in 1974‚Äôs ‚ÄúYoung Frankenstein,‚ÄĚ are infinite, though I have no knowledge of such a twist. Just high hopes.
‚ÄúIt is so difficult to do,‚ÄĚ Peters continued. ‚ÄúNot being able to speak, the physicality of it. Ryan had an idea. He said, ‚ÄėElsa Lanchester is your idol.‚Äô‚ÄĚ
Lanchester memorably played the title character in 1935‚Äôs ‚ÄúBride of Frankenstein.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúThat was so hard for me, because when you watch her do it, she just kind of like blankly stares at things (while) not moving her eyes, just moving her head,‚ÄĚ Peters said. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs hard to incorporate that into the reality of the show.
‚ÄúI tried the best I could, trying to learn the walking and talking. I think right now he’s in his terrible 2s, trying to figure it all out. He’s very confused and doesn’t know how to communicate what he‚Äôs thinking and feeling. It‚Äôs sad, but it’s pretty awesome.‚ÄĚ
Pretty awesome also describes the ‚ÄúAmerican Horror Story‚ÄĚ acting stable, which includes so much fine talent.
‚ÄúIt’s really kind of amazing, and how (Murphy) did that is unbelievable,‚ÄĚ Peters said. ‚ÄúI’m still in shock. I get to work with¬†Lily Rabe¬†a lot this year. She’s awesome, too, just such a fantastic actress. I’ve never seen anybody so dedicated from start to finish. In the rehearsal process, it seems so flawless for her. She comes in with all these ideas and makes sure everything works properly. It’s amazing to watch her work.‚ÄĚ
And work with her, as well as the rest of the cast.
‚ÄúWhen you work, you really invest all you‚Äôve got,‚ÄĚ Peters said. ‚ÄúThis is your chance. This is such an amazing role for everybody, for all the actors. To throw this away is foolish.
‚ÄúLily was doing a scene today and I was sort of hoping I wouldn‚Äôt have to go all-out, and thought, ‚ÄėMaybe I can get away with it.‚Äô And then there‚Äôs Lily on the floor, crying. I thought, ‚ÄėGod, she did it. Now I have to go there.‚Äô
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs exhausting, but it really is amazing.‚ÄĚ