This season of American Horror Story has seen Evan Peters as a maniacal cult leader. The little-known fact is that his character, Kai Anderson, is based on multiple cult leading serial killers and as the episodes proceed, we see them unfold.
From Andy Warhol to Charles Manson and David Koresh – Kai Anderson is a raging, psychotic mix of every psychopath who fed on people's weaknesses and used it to their strength. The signature blue hair and oddly educated opinions are some of the classic traits of the obsessive Trump supporter.
Playing a character of such intensity is a gruesome task and in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Evan Peters spoke up about the various means of inspiration he derived. "I read a lot of books," Evan told EW.
"I read Seductive Poison, which is about a survivor of the Jonestown Massacre. I read Combatting Cult Mind Control, which is a great book to help people get out of cults," he added. The character of Kai is based on multiple such leaders whom the audience gets to see over the course of episodes.
However, these leaders were very different and Evan calls playing the nuances of each, as challenging. He said: "It was difficult. But it was really, really fun. It was incredibly difficult. A lot of research was involved in it. For every person, there was luckily some sort of video or recording of them on YouTube."
Apart from reading up on cult leaders to fully adapt the aura and get in character, it was primarily Evan's decision to give Kai the signature blue hair. "I remember seeing this movie called SLC Punk and I always associated Detroit with this punk rock type scene," he said. "There was something kind of scary but alluring and kind of underground about blue hair."
As for the character of Kai, there are plenty of bizarre scenes, ranging from smeared Cheetos all over his face to pleasuring himself in the presence of another man. Evan calls that as "daunting."
"You kind of have to in a sense check out or put up a wall. I have done some insane stuff," claims the 30-year-old AHS alum, who has been a part of the show since its first season. "So I was like, let's just get in there and break the ice."
For everybody worried about what's in store for Kai's future, Evan had some pretty insightful words too. "It's tragic and fun and scary to watch Kai's power get strong and stronger and stronger with the lack of sanity and empathy he has. It gets pretty terrifying", he said.
American Horror Story: Cult airs every Tuesday night, at 10 pm ET, on Fox.
Here's a promo teaser of the latest episode: