Day 2 in this column’s series on “American Horror Story” actor Evan Peters focuses on Peters’ start in acting and roles prior to “AHS.” So the story goes, after Peters’ family moved from Missouri to Grand Blanc, Michigan, when he was fourteen or fifteen, Peters became obsessed with the Olsen twins, Mary Kate and Ashley, who are around Peters age. The Olsen twins grew up on TV having started on the show “Full House” (which ran eight seasons) when they were just nine months old. Peters thought the best way to meet the actresses was to become an actor himself and so enrolled in acting class.
Peters came to the attention of Bob Lamb, who photographed him and other boys for his book “American Boy” (according to Wikipedia). Lamb (later jailed and released after serving time for child pornography charges unrelated to the book, according to an article in the Flint Journal) also sent a tape of Peters to Hollywood agent Craig Wargo. Wargo recognized Peters’ potential. Peters’ parents decided his mother Julie should move out to Hollywood with him for a year to see if he could make it as an actor. And, lo and behold, he landed his second audition, for the title role in “Clipping Adam” (according to Wikipedia). Since then, Peters has racked up an extensive list of acting credits in both film and TV.
View the list to see pics from and read about Peters’ roles prior to “AHS.” Besides these movie parts and regular appearances on TV shows, Peters has done guest appearances on “In Plain Sight,” “Parenthood,” “The Office,” “The Mentalist,” “Criminal Minds,” “Ghost Whisperer,” “Off the Clock,” “House, M.D.,” “Monk,” “Without a Trace,” and “Dirt.”
And did Peters ever meet the Olsen twins? In a Flint Journal article, Peters says he later had the chance to meet them at the “New York Minute” premiere but that he got too nervous! He says, “I started sweating and freaking out and froze … I blew it.”
Click below to read other articles in this 8 part series:
- Part 1 – Who is Evan Peters?
- Part 3 – Tate Langdon, the devil you want to know
- Part 4 – Kit Walker, hero
- Part 5 – You mean he doesn’t really love Violet?
- Part 6 – Onscreen with his sweetheart
- Part 7 – X-Men, Coven and ‘Safelight’
- Part 8 – ‘Lazarus Effect’ opens Friday
“Clipping Adam” (2004), an independent film, stars Peters as Adam, who grapples with threats from classmates and family crisis. The cast includes, as Adam’s grandmother, Louise Fletcher , a previous Oscar winner for Best Actress in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” A Metacritic article says “Peters gracefully carries his weight as an angel with a human face and clipped wings.” For this portrayal, Peters won a SAG Emerging Actor award at the St. Louis International Film Festival, Jury Award for Best Actor at the Eclipse Film Festival in St. George, Utah, Best Young Actor at the Down Under International Film Festival in Darwin, Australia, and Best Breakthrough Performance at the Phoenix Film Festival (according to the Metacritic article). DVD available from Amazon and other sellers. Click here to watch the trailer.
In the movie “Sleepover” (2004), a young teen named Julie (Alexa Vega, “Repo: The Genetic Opera”) sneaks out of a slumber party with friends to participate in a scavenger hunt. And where there are girls, there will be boys. Peters plays Russell (nickname SpongeBob), the funny and loveable leader of a group of skateboarders who shows interest in Julie. DVD available from Amazon and other sellers. Click here to watch the trailer.
The Days / Phil of the Future
Each of the six episodes of short-lived ABC TV show “The Days” (2004) followed one member of the Day family through a 24-hour day. Peters plays the cynical middle child Cooper Day.
Photo from “Phil of the Future,” courtesy of Disney.
“Phil of the Future” (2004-05), a Disney Channel TV show, ran two seasons. Phil (Ricky Ullman), a kid time-traveling with his family from the year 2121, gets trapped in present day California in 2004. Peters plays Phil’s dorky friend Seth Wosmer in 5 episodes (Corner Pocket, We’ll Fix it in Editing, Future Tutor, Pheromonally Yours and Unification Day) of the show’s first season . The 4 episodes on the only DVD that’s been released don’t feature Peters’ character. Peters and Ullman remained friends after the show ended (according to imdb.com).
“Invasion” (2005-06), an ABC sci-fi show loosely based on the movie “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” featured Peters as Jesse Varon in 21 of 22 episodes. The show, created by Shaun Cassidy (who also created “American Gothic” and “Roar”), received generally favorable reviews and was nominated for the Saturn Award for Best Series. Despite the acclaim, the show was cancelled after the first season. DVD, available from Amazon and other sellers, includes all 22 episodes. Click here to watch the trailer.
Photo: Beverly Hills, CA – July 27, 2005. Actor Evan Peters attends the panel discussion for ‘Invasion’ during the ABC 2005 Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
An American Crime
“An American Crime” (2007) is one of several fictional accounts based on the horrific true crime story of 16-year-old Sylvia Likens (portrayed by Ellen Page of “Hard Candy”), tortured and killed by the family her parents had trusted to care for her. Peters plays Ricky Hobbs, a teenaged neighbor who at first has a crush on Sylvia but later, under pressure, participates in her brutalization. DVD available from Amazon and other sellers. Click here to watch the trailer.
Remarkable Power / Gardens of the Night
“Remarkable Power” (2008), a comedy, stars Kevin Nealon as a talk show host who attempts to use a self-help guide to get his show back on after it gets cancelled. Along with Peters, the supporting cast includes Tom Arnold, who also features in Peters’ next project, “Gardens of the Night.” DVD available from Amazon and other sellers. Click here to watch the trailer.
Photo is from “Remarkable Power,” courtesy of MTI Home Video.
“Gardens of the Night” (2008), a serious drama, concerns two young adults trying to cope after having been kidnapped and forced into child pornography and prostitution. Peters plays a friend of the two, cross-dressing prostitute Brian/Rachel. DVD available from Amazon and other sellers. Click here to watch the trailer.
Never Back Down
“Never Back Down” (2008), an action film, stars Sean Faris as Jake, an Iowa kid new to Orlando, who gets invited to a party by Baja (Amber Heard) and fights with Ryan (Cam Gigandet). Peters plays Jake’s friend Max Cooperman, who introduces Jake to martial arts. A Flint Journal article says “the film has been described as ‘The Karate Kid’ meets ‘Fight Club’ and Peters’ character as “a mix of Shaggy from Scooby-Doo and Jack White.” The article reports a reviewer as saying, “Evan Peters brings welcome doses of wit to the role of the hero’s nerdy sidekick; he also has some of the movie’s best lines.” Available from Amazon and other sellers. Click here to watch the trailer. Peters is the only primary actor from the original to appear in its 2011 sequel “Never Back Down 2: The Beatdown,” also available on DVD from Amazon.
Photo: Hollywood, CA – March 4, 2008: Actor Steve Crowley, actor Wyatt Smith and actor Evan Peters arrive at the premiere of Summit Entertainment’s ‘Never Back Down.’
One Tree Hill
“One Tree Hill” (2008-09) ran for 9 seasons, first on the WB network and later the CW. The teen drama centers on two competitive basketball-playing brothers Lucas (Chad Michael Murray) and Nathan (James Lafferty). Peters appeared as Jack Daniels in 6 episodes of season 6. The season is available on DVD from Amazon and other sellers. Click here to watch a scene.
Action comedy film “Kick-Ass” (2010) stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Dave, a regular kid who, in his quest to become a superhero, meets up with a former policeman (Nicolas Cage) and his eleven-year-old hit girl daughter (Chloë Grace Moretz). Peters plays Dave’s friend Todd Haynes. DVD available from Amazon and other sellers. Click here to watch the trailer.
The Good Doctor
“The Good Doctor,” a 2011 independent thriller, stars Orlando Bloom as Dr. Martin Blake. The haughty Martin messes around with treatment of Diane, a young patient, resulting in her death. The situation worsens when Martin poisons an orderly who blackmails him. Peters plays Diane’s brother. DVD available from Amazon and other sellers. Click here to watch the trailer.