Dark places

“American Horror Story” is harming this actor’s mental health, so they’re sitting one out

Evans Peters, American Horror Story, FX, TV

Even though American Horror Story is often more ridiculous than scary, Ryan Murphy‘s horror anthology series still deals with heavy material, from rape and familial murders to torture and grisly resurrections. It’s enough to take any actor to a dark place, and that’s exactly what’s happened to Evan Peters.

Peters — who has acted in all eight seasons of the FX series (and also plays in Murphy’s ’80s era NYC ballroom drama, Pose) — recently told an interviewer that he has decided to “sit a season out” because the show is taking a negative toll on his mental health.

Peters has said:

“[Being in the show] has been all a massive stretch for me and really difficult to do. It’s hurting my soul and Evan as a person. There’s this massive amount of rage that’s been called upon from me, and the emotional stuff that’s been called on me for Pose has been heartbreaking, and I’m sick. I don’t feel good.”

“It’s just exhausting. It’s really mentally draining, and you don’t want to go to those places ever in your life. And so you have to go there for the scenes, and it ends up integrating it somehow into your life. You’re in traffic and you find yourself screaming and you’re like, What the hell? This isn’t who I am. I fight really hard to combat that and make sure that I’m watching comedies and hanging out with my fiancée [actress Emma Roberts] and chilling with friends and watching movies.”

Evans Peters, American Horror Story, FX, TV
Evan Peters in American Horror Story: Cult

This makes sense, especially as Peters often plays angry, traumatized and persecuted roles in the show. In order of each season, he has played a school shooter, a wrongly imprisoned father, a resurrected frat boy, a member of a murderous freak show, a psychopathic architect, a haunted aristocrat, a violent cult leader and the survivor of a nuclear apocalypse.

Related: Evan Peters let it all hang out while filming “American Horror Story”

He has also played a few gay roles in the show including that of Edward Philipe Mott in season six (Roanoke), a wealthy man who was sleeping with his man-slave Guinness, and Mr. Gallant in season eight (Apocalypse), a hairstylist forced to endure harsh living in a survivor outpost.