October 20, 2017
'American Horror Story: Cult': See Evan Peters As Charles Manson

American Horror Story: Cult has unmasked its latest cult leader. Showrunner Ryan Murphy has released the first photo of AHS: Cult star Evan Peters in his role as Charles Manson. Peters will play the "Manson family" cult leader, who terrorized southern California during the late 1960s, in the upcoming American Horror Story: Cult episode, "Charles (Manson) In Charge." In the photo, Evan Peters is a dead ringer for Manson as he poses for a wide-eyed shot.

"Evan Peters or Charles Manson?" Murphy captioned the pic, which you can see below.

In July and August 1969, Charles Manson orchestrated nine murders, including one of actress Sharon Tate, who was eight months pregnant at the time, as his family of followers obeyed his orders. Now, Peters will play the infamous cult leader as American Horror Story continues to spotlight cults from the past, according to TV Guide.

Charles Manson is the third cult leader that Evan Peters is playing so far this season. Peters' main role on the FX anthology series is Cult's antagonist, Kai Anderson, who leads his own fictional modern-day cult. Last week, Peters played pop artist Andy Warhol alongside guest star Lena Dunham as Valerie Solanas, the radical feminist who shot Warhol in 1968.

In addition to his upcoming role as Manson, later this season, Evan Peters will play David Koresh, the leader of the Branch Davidians who famously hosted a 51-day stand-off with the FBI in Waco, Texas, in 1993. Peters will also take on the role of Jim Jones, the Peoples Temple leader who in 1978 instructed nearly 1,000 of his followers to commit a mass suicide by drinking cyanide-laced grape Kool-Aid. In addition, Evan will play Heaven's Gate cult leader Marshall Applewhite, who organized a mass suicide of 39 people in 1997.

Charles Manson in 1969
[Image by Harold Filan/AP Images]

Evan Peters certainly has his work cut out for him this season on American Horror Story: Cult as he takes on so many famous personas. In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Peters admitted he was unaware that he would be playing so many characters when he initially signed on to the current season of the how. But, surprisingly, Peters pointed to the fictional, blue-haired basement dweller, Kai, as the most difficult cult leader to play.

"I didn't realize I was going to be playing so many different characters going into the season," Evan told THR.

"The challenge as an actor of playing all of them was pretty daunting, and Kai is the most vicious of all of the cult leaders. He has been a difficult character to play, with a lot of highs and lows, and a lot of darkness."
For the real-life cult leaders, Evan Peters revealed that he did research by reading books and watching documentaries on the various cults and their famous leaders.

"I've never worked this much in my life, period, and I've never been in the show this much and had so much thrown at me," Peters said.

Take a look at the new trailer for American Horror Story: Cult below.

American Horror Story: Cult airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on FX.

[Featured Image by lya S. Savenok/Getty Images for 2017 Tribeca Film Festival]