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Emmys FYC: The ‘Cult’ Appeal of Evan Peters

Awards Daily TV offers American Horror Story: Cult‘s Evan Peters as a top choice for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series.

Evan Peters has been a staple of Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story franchise since his, in my opinion, devastating performance as Tate Langdon in Murder House. He’s often looked at as the game actor, the one you could theoretically throw anything at. Modern Frankenstein? No worries. Lobster boy who uses his “claws” as sexual objects? Sign him up! Brutal killers? He’s totally game for it. Yet, as fun a performer as he can be, Peters needed the lead role to stretch his acting chops. He needed not to be the side-show oddity. He needed to be the center stage.Finally, his lead role as Kai Anderson in last year’s American Horror Story: Cult provided exactly that. To say that Peters rose to the occasion would be an understatement. He excelled in the role. He embodied the voice of an entire American political subculture. He delivered intense and unescapable focus in each episode. Sure, the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series Emmy race is this year’s embarrassment of riches, but that’s no reason to ignore some of the best non-Jessica Lange work we’ve seen in the entire American Horror Story series.Television Academy, please consider Evan Peters as you vote this week.The entire Cult season rises and falls on Peters ability to deliver. Sure, Sarah Paulson drives a lot of the material, and she’s as great in the role as we expect her to be. But to really *believe* Cult as a horror/socio-political drama, you have to believe that its myriad plot points could be set into motion by Peters’ Kai Anderson. You have to believe he could embody a cult leader. To believe he could convince people to commit murder. To believe his internal white male rage is a palpable, near tangible, force. Evan Peters convinces you of all this and more. He channels the rage felt as white men, in his twisted mind, become increasingly demonized. He uses that rage to either directly or influence others to commit brutal acts of terror. Peters’s rage, as Kai Anderson, is an endless poison that, in the end, unexpected infects even the righteous Paulson.Cult even allows Peters the opportunity to expand into multiple roles – Charles Manson, Marshall Applewhite, David Koresh, Jim Jones, Jesus, and most amusingly Andy Warhol. What other roles this Emmy year have given an actor that kind of play?It’s not just about the role, though. It’s Evan Peters’ tremendous commitment to the material. He fuels Cult with a sense that he’s always wanted this opportunity. He wasn’t letting it slip through his fingers. Evan Peters gives one of the most exciting and unexpected performances of the entire Emmy season. Color me one of his cult devotees.Please consider Evan Peters as Kai Anderson in American Horror Story; Cult for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie.