Who plays Anthony Hughes, Jeffrey Dahmer's victim in Netflix's Monster?

Ella Kipling September 22, 2022
Who plays Anthony Hughes, Jeffrey Dahmer's victim in Netflix's Monster?
Photo by Curt Borgwardt/Sygma/Sygma via Getty Images

Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story has been released on Netflix, and viewers have been left horrified at the story told within the ten-episode-long series.

The series, as its name suggests, tells the story of Jeffrey Dahmer, a serial killer who took the lives of 17 young men and boys and was known as the Milwaukee Monster, or the Milwaukee Cannibal.

One of the episodes, Silenced, focuses on one of Dahmer’s victims, Anthony Hughes. The episode has been praised on Twitter for its portrayal of Hughes, who was hearing impaired.

Who plays Anthony Hughes in Monster?

Anthony Hughes is played by Rodney Burford. He also appeared in Deaf U, in 2020.

As well as being an actor, Burford is a football player at Gallaudet University. Gallaudet is the world’s only liberal arts university explicitly devoted to educating deaf and hard of hearing students. Every member on Burford’s football team, therefore, is hearing impaired.

Burford views this as a strength. He told The Guardian: “I think I’m at an advantage in a game, I can talk trash and you can hear me. When you talk trash, I can’t hear you… [that means] I’m already in your head.”

Burford’s Instagram page is predominantly full of pictures of him playing sport for his team, the Bisons. He has 6,425 followers at the time of writing, and you can follow him here.

Who was Anthony Hughes in real life?

Anthony Hughes, who went by Tony, was born in 1960. He was deaf-mute after permanently losing his hearing as an infant due to the side effects of medicines given to him as a child.

Hughes was an aspiring model and moved to Madison for college as well as in an attempt to pursue a modeling career. He met Dahmer at a Milwaukee gay bar in 1991, where Dahmer was a regular.

Hughes agreed to go home with Dahmer, The Scottish Sun reported, and it was thought that Dahmer had suggested a nude photoshoot.

Once inside, Tony was drugged and strangled to death by Dahmer.

Who plays Jeffrey Dahmer?

Dahmer is played by Evan Peters, who is known for his many roles in the FX anthology series American Horror Story. As one of Ryan Murphy’s favorite actors to cast, Peters has also starred as Stan Bowes in Pose, and nine episodes of AHS.

You may also recognize Peters from his roles as Peter Maximoff/ Quicksilver in the X-Men series, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe series WandaVision.

Speaking about playing Dahmer, Peters said: “It felt important to be respectful to the victims, to the victims’ families, to try to tell the story as authentically as we could.”

Viewers react to Hughes’ story

Following the release of Monster, many viewers took to Twitter to share their thoughts on the series and, in particular, the episode which features Tony Hughes.

One viewer tweeted: “Utterly captivated by Tony Hughes’ character and story in the new Dahmer series. May his soul continue to rest in peace alongside the other victims. The show is difficult to watch and this particular episode hit the hardest.”

Another said: “I love that they casted someone who’s really deaf to play the role of Tony Hughes. Also this episode has me on the brink of tears.”

#DahmerNetflix is well acted ghoulish trash but ep 6 Silenced about Anthony “Tony” Hughes was touching. If you want to tell these stories, honoring the humanity of victims should be the goal and otherwise it’s just a cash in on misery,” one person said.

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Ella is the Head of Content at Freshered and also works a freelance journalist at GRV Media, writing for HITC and Reality Titbit. Her interests lie in news and anything culture related including entertainment, musicals, books, and social media. Ella is also a big supporter of student media and writes for her university’s newspaper as well as hosting her own show on the radio station.