Paris Barclay, director of the movie Dahmer

Paris Barclay admits that he did not initially want to direct the episodes of Ryan Murphy’s “Dahmer – The Beast: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.”

“About six months before production started, Ryan called me and said, ‘We’re doing a series and we want you to be a part of it,’” Barclay told me. “I always listen to what Ryan Murphy has to offer because it’s always fun. “It’s a miniseries about Jeffrey Dahmer,” Ryan said, “and I said, “Oh, that’s not that interesting to me.” But then he made it clear that he wanted to tell it from the victims’ point of view.”

Barkley directed two of the ten Netflix series episodes, including one that focused on Tony Hughes, a deaf and non-vocal black man (played by newcomer Rodney Burford) who is murdered by Dahmer (played by Evan Peters) in 1991. Soon after the film . As the series premiered, Hughes’ mother and other family members of the victims publicly denounced the show for not only traumatizing them all over again, but also accusing Netflix and the producers of exploiting the story for profit.

“I don’t really have an opinion on it other than I really wish there was a world in it [Hughes’ mother] I can experience it without pain, but I can’t imagine being able to see it without pain,” Barkley says.

“We tried to rise up and we tried to hug Tony. We tried to give him a voice. We tried as much as we could to get him to resonate with the viewers. And that seemed to happen,” Barkley continued. “I am really proud of what we have done, not only for Tony, but also for the deaf community. That was my motto. We want to make these victims do not disappear.”

It was announced on October 20 that the limited series debuted in Nielsen’s weekly broadcast ratings with 3.7 billion minutes watched from September 19 to 25, making it the number one viewing window and the tenth most-streamed program in a single programme. A week Nielsen has ever scored.

Recently, Murphy said he reached out to the families of 20 victims for Dahmer’s research, but “not a single person” responded to his team. Murphy also said that Peters stayed on as Dahmer for “months” to prepare for filming.

Because of the intense and brutal story details, Netflix provided consulting services to the cast and crew.

“Some of the scenes we shot were really horrific. When you shoot them, you can’t just watch them for two minutes,” Barkley says. “You live in it for a whole day and you repeat it. It definitely took its toll on you. There were times when I was at home crying just thinking about the emotional experience the actors went through and what the real people went through.”

He adds, “We took our time with it. We didn’t rush into anything. Evan Peters was just as passionate as Jeffrey Dahmer. He was such a big character on stage so we really cared. We really protected the cast and crew as much as we could.”


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