Emmy spotlight: Evan Peters (‘American Horror Story’) deserves a nomination for career-best performance as blue-haired ‘Cult’ leader

Earlier this year Evan Peters received a Critics’ Choice nomination for his career-best performance as blue-haired cult leader Kai Anderson on FX’s “American Horror Story: Cult.” Will the Emmys now follow suit? The 31-year-old actor didn’t just portray Kai on “AHS: Cult,” but he also took on such real-life monsters as Charles Manson, Marshall ApplewhiteDavid Koresh and Jim Jones, plus Jesus and Andy Warhol. Remember, Emmy voters are suckers for actors who play multiple roles — just ask Tatiana Maslany who won in 2016 for embodying all those “Orphan Black” clones.

In our recent interview Peters admitted that he heavily researched the parts in order to “immerse myself as much as I could into all those characters because they were real people, and I felt like it was important to try to make it as real as possible.” Playing madman Kai for so many months even started affected Peters’ own life. “It was intense, and it was hard, and it was pretty exhausting, having to stretch myself like that, to go to those places,” he revealed.

Critics were enamored with Peters’ performance, with TVLine even naming him their performer of the week, writing, “All season, Peters has amazed and appalled with his portrayal of Kai Anderson, the visceral embodiment of ‘the passion of the angry white man.'” Matt Grobar (Deadline) noted, “Possessing intense physicality and sheer force of personality … Kai is the role representing a shift in the actor’s career.” And Jen Chaney (Vulture) declared, “Paulson and Peters remained compelling because both of them are so committed to leaning hard into the show’s hairpin tonal and emotional turns.”

Over the past six years many of Peters’ “American Horror Story” co-stars have been nominated for Emmys, including Sarah Paulson, Denis O’Hare, Zachary Quinto, Finn Wittrock, Frances Conroy and Angela Bassett. Three performers — Jessica Lange (“Murder House,” “Coven”), James Cromwell (“Asylum”) and Kathy Bates (“Coven”) — even took home the gold. Is this the year that Peters finally joins his “AHS” cast mates at the Emmys?

Peters is returning for “AHS” Season 8 where he’ll be playing a comedic hairstylist. As for the 2018 Emmys, Peters’ likely competition for Best Movie/Limited Series Actor is Darren Criss (“Assassination of Gianni Versace”), Al Pacino (“Paterno”), Kyle MacLachlan (“Twin Peaks”), Benedict Cumberbatch (“Patrick Melrose”), Michael B. Jordan (“Fahrenheit 451”) and Antonio Banderas (“Genius: Picasso”).

PREDICT the Emmy nominees and winners now; change them until July 12

Be sure to make your Emmy predictions today so that Hollywood insiders can see how their TV shows and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before nominees are announced on July 12. And join in the fun debate over the 2018 Emmy taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our television forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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