Ben Platt in the ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ trailer
The trailer has it all — an all-star cast, a wide range of emotions, and the stellar Ben Platt who doesn’t exactly look like a high school student anymore.
Platt — who originated the role of Evan Hansen on Broadway in 2016 and won a Tony Award for best actor — is 27 now. Having Platt playing a character who is supposed to be 10 years younger may seem odd, but according to director Stephen Chobsky, casting anyone else in the role was never a discussion.
Ben Platt looks like he's visiting the high school to collect an outstanding alumni award in the Dear Evan Hansen trailer.— Emily St. James (of the South Dakota St. Jameses) (@emilyvdw) May 18, 2021
“You just have to hear him sing the songs,” Chbosky, who directed “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” and “Wonder,” recently told Vanity Fair. “His understanding of the character is so complete and so profound. I couldn’t imagine anybody else playing it. It’s his part. I felt very strongly about it.”
Platt — who played Evan Hansen on Broadway through late 2017 — told Vanity Fair that he lost 15 pounds, grew out his hair and shaved constantly so he could once again portray the well-meaning teenager who grapples with social anxiety.
“I think everybody obviously had in their minds that I wasn’t going to stay teen-adjacent forever,” the actor said. “The need to get it done was a little urgent. Then of course the pandemic happened, and I kind of assumed that was that — it would be a no-go, and by the time the pandemic was over, I’d have outgrown it.”
What is ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ about?
The musical follows Evan Hansen, a teenager whose therapist encourages him to build his confidence by writing daily letters of self-affirmation. One of those letters ends up in the pocket of his classmate Connor Murphy, who dies by suicide a short time later.
When Murphy’s family discovers the letter, they believe it to be a suicide note addressed to Evan. Evan quickly finds himself caught in a lie about having been best friends with Connor.
Platt told Vanity Fair that in addition to featuring two new songs, the movie adaptation also explores the repercussions of that lie more than the musical does.
- “We get to see a little bit more of Evan’s repentance and redemption and the work that he does subsequently to make amends and really get to know who Connor was and try to help the family heal,” Platt said. “He’s not, like, quite as off the hook as he is in the musical, where you’ve been sitting in a theater for two and a half hours and you’re kind of ready to wrap it up.”
When does ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ hit theaters?
The movie adaptation of “Dear Evan Hansen” is expected to hit theaters on Sept. 24, Variety reported. The all-star cast includes Platt, Julianne Moore, Amy Adams and more.
“Dear Evan Hansen” is also expected to return to Broadway on Dec. 11, the Deseret News reported.