Join or Sign In

Sign in to customize your TV listings

Continue with Facebook Continue with email

By joining TV Guide, you agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge the data practices in our Privacy Policy.

Every Role Evan Peters Is Playing in American Horror Story: Cult

From Kai Anderson to Charles Manson

Sadie Gennis

Evan Peters fans are in for a treat this season. American Horror Story: Cult is poised to be the actor's best season yet, with the AHS staple playing several different characters throughout the 11-episode installment.

This isn't going to be a Bette and Dot situation as we saw in Freak Show, nor will it be like when Asylum's Lana (Sarah Paulson) showed up in Roanoke with no mention of how she looked nearly identical to Audrey (who was also played by Paulson). Peters will play one role in the present-day storyline, which is inspired by the paranoia of the Trump era, and then appear in several other roles through flashbacks.

"I do feel like this is his best performance," creator Ryan Murphy said of Peters, per IndieWire. "For Evan, it's been a great challenge. We pushed him to the limit."

Check out every role we know Peters is playing in Cult so far.

Evan Peters, American Horror Story: Cult

Kai Anderson: For Peters' main role this season, the actor is once again venturing to the dark side to play Cult's main antagonist Kai, a Trump supporter who sees fear as a tool to gain power. Although he starts the season off as a disheveled young man watching politics play out from afar, Kai soon leverages the current of paranoia coursing through society to craft his own meteoric rise up the political ladder, running first for City Council and then, eventually, the Senate, all the while developing his own legion of followers and getting more twisted along the way.

Everything You Need to Know About American Horror Story: Cult

Charles Manson

Charles Manson

Bettmann/Bettmann Archive

Charles Manson: Probably the most famous cult leader of all time, Manson believed in something he called "Helter Skelter," a term he took from the Beatles song and which he claimed was an impending, apocalyptic race war. His followers became known as the Manson Family and they lived with him in a commune in southern California. At Manson's behest, members of the Family committed a series of nine murders across four locations in the summer of 1969 as part of Manson's attempt to kickstart start Helter Skelter. Among the victims was actress Sharon Tate, who was eight months pregnant at the time of her death. Members of the Family were also responsible for several other acts of violence, including an attempted assassination of President Gerald Ford. Manson was found guilty of the crimes and is currently surviving multiple life sentences.

Before the murders, Manson was an aspiring singer-songwriter who worked with Beach Boys' member Dennis Wilson until the relationship broke down in 1968. Several musicians have since covered tracks Manson wrote, including Guns 'N Roses and The Lemonheads.

David Koresh and Clive Doyle

David Koresh and Clive Doyle

Elizabeth Baranyai/Sygma via Getty Images

David Koresh: David Koresh joined the Branch Davidians, a religious offshoot of Seventh-Day Adventism, in the early '80s and eventually became their spiritual leader after tumultuous fight for power. Throughout his time with the Branch Davidians, Koresh took several wives, many of whom were minors, which raised allegations of child abuse within the sect.

First American Horror Story: Cult Trailer Pits Sarah Paulson Against Evan Peters

In response to the molestation accusations as well as illegal weapons violations (the group stockpiled weapons to prepare for the alleged apocalypse), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives attempted to raid the Branch Davidians' Waco, Texas compound in February 1993. This lead to a four-hour gunfight that left six Branch Davidians and four ATF agents dead, plus several more wounded. After a ceasefire was negotiated, a 51-day stand-off between Koresh and the feds began. This only ended on April 19 after the FBI launched another assault on the compound which included pumping tear gas into the building in the hopes of driving out Koresh and his followers.

The tear gas attempt failed and with all of the Branch Davidians still inside, three fires broke out in the compound. The government claimed they were deliberately started by Koresh's followers, while the few survivors claimed they were either an accidental or deliberate result of the FBI assault. Only nine of Koresh's followers made it out of the burning building alive, with the other 76 Branch Davidians dying during the siege. However, according to the FBI, Koresh didn't die in the fire, but was shot by one of his top aid's inside the compound.

Jim Jones

Jim Jones

Bettmann/Bettmann Archive

Jim Jones: Jones originally founded his church, the Peoples Temple, as a means of accomplishing his communist social goals in 1955. After moving the church's headquarters to San Francisco in the '70s, the Peoples Temple experienced a huge growth and lead to Jones developing several relationships with notable politicians, including Harvey Milk. However, the increased visibility lead also lead to increased scrutiny. Upon learning an expose on the church was going to be published that would include allegations of physical, emotional and sexual abuse within the church, Jones decided to move the Temple's headquarters to Guyana in 1977. Jones named the new compound Jonestown.

Watch American Horror Story: Cult's Terrifying Title Sequence

Not long afterwards, Temple defectors formed a "Concerned Relatives" group and began speaking out against Jones and his church, alleging human rights abuses. Congressman Leo Ryan lead a mission to Jonestown to investigate the situation in November 1978, but after being attacked by a Temple member with a knife, Ryan, his delegation and 15 Temple members left Jonestown to return to the States. Jones initially did nothing to prevent their departure, but as they were boarding the planes to leave, Jones' armed guards attacked the delegation, killing Ryan and four others. That same day, 909 people living in Jonestown, including 304 children, died of cyanide poisoning after Jones instructed them to commit suicide by drinking poisoned Flavor Aid. A 45-minute audio tape of the suicide was later discovered by the FBI.

Although Jones had nearly one thousand of his followers commit suicide by drinking cyanide, he died from a gunshot wound to his head.

​Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol

Susan Greenwood/Liaison Agency

Andy Warhol: The only figure who isn't a cult leader on this list, Warhol is best known as the leader of the pop art movement in the '60s. His New York studio, dubbed The Factory, became a hub for celebrities, intellectuals and members of the counterculture.

In 1968, there was an assassination attempt on Warhol by Valerie Solanas, a paranoid schizophrenic who had minor involvement with the Factory. Before shooting Warhol, Solanas wrote the S.C.U.M. Manifesto, which advocated for women to eliminate all men. Warhol survived the shooting and continued his successful art career until his death following a gallbladder surgery in 1987.

In addition to Peters' taking on the role of Warhol in Cult's seventh episode, Lena Dunham will guest-star as Solanas in the episode, aptly titled "Valerie Solanas Died For Your Sins, Scumbag."

American Horror Story: Cult airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on FX.