When Ryan Murphy spoke with BuzzFeed News on the Louisiana set of American Horror Story: Freak Show in August, he had a very specific hope regarding the "special-ability actors" featured in the fourth season of his hit FX anthology series.
"Historically, the discrimination and hatred and murder and abuse and rape that was afflicted upon them because they were different — because they were born that way — is very painful and astounding," Murphy said. "We've been researching that and are putting that into the show. I think anybody who watches this season who has felt ostracized or looked at as a freak or called one for a number of reasons will relate to them. And that's the whole point of telling their stories. We're getting to know them for their heart and their character — not their physicality."
And Murphy certainly succeeded, at least when it comes to AHS star Evan Peters. The actor, who's been a part of AHS since its debut season, told BuzzFeed News that working alongside Jyoti Amge (the world's smallest woman) as Ma Petite, Erika Ervin as Amazon Eve, Rose Siggins as Legless Suzi, Mat Fraser as Paul the Illustrated Seal, and others has completely overhauled his outlook on life.
"If I walk away from this experience taking anything, it's that these people are people and you can't look at them any other way," Peters told BuzzFeed News in a phone interview. "They're so nice and so lovely to be around that it makes me sort of disgusted with the way I was before... not that I was a horrible person, but you're intimidated or insecure around them or scared or don't know how to talk to them. This opens your eyes and allows you to see them as people, just like you, who have incredible circumstances ... It also shows you how weak you are, like you're worried about your problems and these people overcome so much stuff daily. It's been a really eye-opening experience, and I'm thankful for the opportunity."
Professionally speaking, being part of the unofficial American Horror Story repertoire company has been equally beneficial for Peters. "Bryan Singer [who directed X-Men: Days of Future Past] saw the show and wanted to put me in the movie as Quicksilver," Peters said of his role in the 2014 superhero film. "Just having directors and people I want to work with see the show and want to work with me is something that has been amazing, and nothing I ever thought would happen."