2021 is a big year for movie musicals. Following the release of In the Heights, there’s a number of highly anticipated blockbuster musicals coming to the big screen. This includes Stephen Chbosky’s Dear Evan Hansen, which will feature Ben Platt reprising his Tony Award winning role as the title character. And Platt recently explained why he feels so passionately about playing his signature role for the film adaptation.
Ben Platt’s Broadway run in Dear Evan Hansen was universally acclaimed, as he sang and cried his way through the play’s contents for eight shows a week. It seemed like a no-brainer for Platt to play Evan in the movie, but he got some backlash regarding his age after the first trailer arrived online. The star of The Politician has addressed why he’s the right person to play the protagonist, saying:
I created the role and I workshopped it and I did readings of it and I did the out-of-town production and the off-Broadway production. I really bilt it with the writers and a lot of me, my rhythms, my voice and who I am as embedded in the character. That’s the one character that I do feel has become mine.
It’s hard to argue with that logic. Ben Platt worked with Benj Pasek and Justin Paul in crafting the title role of Dear Evan Hansen. And after those years of work, ultimately resulting in a Best Actor Tony Award, it’s hard to imagine anyone else playing the role on the big screen. And now more people will be able to see his iconic performance as it’s immortalized.
Ben Platt’s comments to The Independent helps to show where the actor/ recording artist’s head is at regarding Dear Evan Hansen. Platt is working with a killer cast for the film adaptation, and is the only actor reprising their role from the original Broadway cast. And on top of his years playing Evan, he also has the advantage of the role being written around his particular vocal range and sensibility.
Broadway fans were excited to see that Dear Evan Hansen was getting a film adaptation, with A-list talent like Julianne Moore and Amy Adams attached. But when the trailer first arrived, Ben Platt was the subject of some backlash over his age, and became fodder for countless memes. But considering Platt is still just 27 years-old, he’s hardly the oldest actor to portray a high schooler. Plus he’s only three years older than co-star Kaitlyn Dever.
As a fan of the musical myself, I’m particularly interested to see how Dear Evan Hansen will adapt for the film, and what changes are made in order to facilitate that transition. Projects like In the Heights had to cut out a number of songs to make it appropriate length for a film, and Ben Platt’s upcoming movie will likely do the same. We’ll just have to wait and see which hit Pasek & Paul songs end up on the cutting room floor.
Dear Evan Hansen is currently expected to arrive in theaters on September 24th. In the meantime, check out the 2021 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience.