Major spoilers are ahead. Just as many of us were starting to become attached to Evan Peters' Mare of Easttown character, Detective Colin Zabel, he was unceremoniously shot and killed in episode 5.
This week’s shocking “Illusions" episode was devastating to a lot of fans, but Peters revealed that he found it to be an exciting acting challenge.
The actor told The New York Times that he “was excited by the idea that that would happen, to craft this whole character and formulate this whole plot so it’s almost like we did it for that moment.”
“It’s this interesting way to develop a character, knowing that he’s going to die in such a way,” Peters continued. “To me, it felt very real, and it sort of speaks to the danger of being in this line of work. It reminded me of that moment in Burn After Reading where Brad Pitt gets shot in the forehead in the closet — which is sort of hilarious but also really shocking, and we wanted to have that sort of feeling once it happens.”
Needless to say, viewers had a lot of feelings after that big twist, especially those who finally let themselves grow fond of one of Peters' few — how do I put this — nice and normal characters.
Devastating time to develop a crush on Evan Peters #MareOfEasttown— Emma Gray (@emmaladyrose) May 17, 2021
Me googling “chance of surviving a gunshot wound to the head” #MareOfEasttown #Evanpeters pic.twitter.com/mvpEW5EuC4— Shelley Maxwell (@smaxmyax) May 17, 2021
I don’t understand why it’s so hard to just have one Evan peters character live and have a nice happy ending— ⨂ Ralph Bohner ⨂ (@pmoneythebos) May 17, 2021
I can’t keep doing this :( pic.twitter.com/hdVPisWu7Q
why does Evan Peters characters always get shot in the head in all his shows he does or killed it’s just uncalled for will we never a character that doesn’t die would love to know pic.twitter.com/kTsQ90JcRf— jade 🌺 (@jadeharrx) May 17, 2021
Shockingly, however, that wasn't the scene that brought Peters to the brink — rather, it was the viral scene from episode 3 where a drunk Zabel bares his soul to his detective partner, Mare (Kate Winslet). The moment was a masterclass in drunk acting, especially since Peters was completely sober (he was shooting back cups of apple cider vinegar). But Peters told Vanity Fair that he and director Craig Zobel had to hug it out afterwards because he had convinced himself that he hadn't nailed the scene.
“The reason Craig and I were emotional and hugging was because I was hysterically sobbing,” Peters said. “I thought we didn’t get the scene. I was like, ‘We didn’t get, we didn’t get it. I can’t do this. I’m terrible. I’m going to shadow you, Craig, and be a director, because I can’t do it anymore.’ And he was like, ‘It’s OK. It’s cool, man. I think we got it.’ […] What’s going on with my internal judgment? Where I don’t even know if it’s good.”
Hopefully Peters doesn't let this dissuade him from acting — if for no other reason than to finally one day play a likeble character who manages to stay alive.
Mare of Easttown airs on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.