Why Evan Peters Has Blue Hair In American Horror Story?

Kai Anderson sitting on a couch in American Horror Story: Cult

Evan Peters played one of his most memorable characters in American Horror Story when he appeared as Kai, and there is an interesting reason for Peters’ blue hair. Coming as the horror anthology show’s seventh season, American Horror Story: Cult chronicled the rise of a violent cult that asserts itself in the wake of the 2016 US presidential election. The most politically-charged season by far, AHS: Cult didn’t shy away from pushing the audience’s buttons when truly examining the mentality behind cult leaders and cults in general. Most importantly it found a new way to scare that was eerily realistic.

Understandably controversial considering its subject matter, AHS: Cult received positive reviews from critics and Peters’ performance was especially praised. Much in the same way that the actor stole every scene he was in, Peters’ blue hair left a distinct impression on viewers, and it became as much a part of his Kai character as his disturbing personality. Every Peters AHS role had its own memorable moments, due in large part to the actor’s versatility, but American Horror Story: Cult put the celebrated character performer’s best work on display in more than just one role.

It Was Evan Peters’ Idea For Kai To Have Blue Hair In American Horror Story

Kai surrounded by men in clown masks in American Horror Story Cult.

While Peters’ blue hair in American Horror Story season 7 could have easily been chalked up to the designs of the show’s makeup and hair department, Kai’s signature azure tone was the actor’s idea. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Peters mentioned that he had actually gotten inspiration from the underrated Matthew Lillard movie SLC Punk, in which Lillard’s character sports blue hair. Peters explained that he associated blue hair with the punk music movement, which was very much about disassociating from the normal strictures of society. Of the choice, he said, “it was kind of like, destroy what’s already kind of going on everywhere — what’s normal.

Peters’ methodology behind the blue hair was actually quite clever because it was a quick and easy visual cue that separated Kai from the average person on the street. Though he wasn’t insinuating that the punk movement was a cult, it spoke to the character’s mindset as he sought a way to break down society and rebuild it his own way. The squeaky-clean image of fictional Michigan town Brookfield Heights was already destroyed by the political turmoil of the election, and the arrival of Kai’s burgeoning cult certainly helped to finish it off.

Evan Peters Played Seven Different Characters In American Horror Story: Cult

Evan Peters as various cult leaders in American Horror Story CultEvery season of American Horror Story offers something unique that the others haven’t, and AHS: Cult was no exception. Long praised for his chameleon-like acting abilities, AHS: Cult put Peters in a plethora of roles, and he ended up playing seven different characters across the season. Though Evan Peters’ blue-haired Kai was the largest role, he also appeared as other cult leaders such as Jim Jones, Charles Manson, Marshall Applewhite, and David Koresh. Notably, he also played other characters who developed their own cults of personality, namely art icon Andy Warhol and religious figure Jesus Christ.

All told, the six other characters that Peters played spoke to the mindset of Kai himself, as each exhibited traits that the aspiring cult leader did. Besides simply preparing for that many roles physically, Peters also went through a tremendous mental strain as he did a mountain of research and was expected to step in and out of the minds of history’s greatest villains. In an interview with Conan O’Brien, Peters described the process as “my own little horror story”, and it was perhaps his greatest challenge as a cast member of American Horror Story.

 

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