The one rule from Ryan Murphy for the Netflix series was that the story would never be told from the point of view of Jeffrey Dahmer himself. The episodes instead show the story from the perspective of the killer’s victims and the police trying to catch him. According to Evan Peters, this lack of a Dahmer POV plays into his duplicitous nature and keeps the focus on the repercussions of his horrible actions.
“We had one rule going into this from Ryan that it would never be told from Dahmer’s point of view. As an audience, you’re not really sympathizing with him. You’re not really getting into his plight. You’re more sort of watching it, you know, from the outside. It’s called the Jeffrey Dahmer Story, but it’s not just him and his backstory. It’s the repercussions,” Peters said in a video shared by Ryan Murphy Productions.
Actors to get into the head of Dahmer and actually show that perspective before Peters came along included “Avengers” star Jeremy Renner in 2002’s “Dahmer” and Ross Lynch in 2017’s “My Friend Dahmer.”
In the same interview promoting the new series, Peters said they were careful to be respectful of Dahmer’s victims in this iteration. “It felt important to be respectful to the victims, to the victims’ families; to try to tell the story as authentically as we could,” the actor said.