Dear Evan Hansen’s Ben Platt Explains ‘Scary’ Process Of Returning To His Emotional Role

Ben Platt as Evan Hansen

2021 has been an exciting one for movie musicals, with stage projects like In the Heights and Everybody’s Talking About Jamie being adapted for the big screen. This trend continues with Stephen Chbosky’s Dear Evan Hansen, which featured Ben Platt back in his Tony Award-winning title character. And Platt recently explained the ‘scary’ process of returning to this emotional role.

Ben Platt originated the role of Evan Hansen on Broadway and the musical’s pre-Broadway run. But despite this intimate knowledge of the material, Dear Evan Hansen still deals with some emotionally grueling material. Ahead of its release, I had the privilege of speaking with Platt about the process of returning to the difficult emotions of the piece. As you can see in the video above, he spoke about the challenges of this, calling it:

Very scary for sure and nerve-wracking. I think the kind of fire under my butt, like chugging directive I kept the whole time in my mind, was just how grateful I am that so many people are going to have the opportunity to see this story because it’s going to be in film. And while there are selfish reasons why I was afraid to do it, or scared of re-opening that legacy like you said, or messing with what was a great experience on stage, that opportunity to touch that many people or have that many people be moved by something important like Dear Evan Hansen is so much bigger. And just makes that feel really small and really conquerable.

Well, there you have it. While there were some very understandable nerves that came with Ben Platt working on the Dear Evan Hansen movie, it seems that the actor/recording artist funneled that pressure into motivation. And just like that, he was able to slip back into that iconic role, and belt out Pasek & Paul’s iconic songs while feeling all of Evan’s emotions.

When Ben Platt was starring in Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway, the show quickly became one of the hottest tickets in town. But the majority of folks around the world weren’t able to see the stage version, especially Platt’s run as the title character. Platt used that as motivation to once again transform into Evan for the movie, despite the pressure that came with reprising the Award winning role.

Later in our chat, Ben Platt went on to explain how filming Dear Evan Hansen eventually got easier as it went on. This makes sense as on top of the pressure of playing the extremely emotional role, the movie was also filming mid-pandemic. Platt went on to tell me,

It was a learning curve. It was scary at first to start dwelling with the material, and singing it again, and getting back into it. But eventually it felt like, you know, an old pair of jeans in a nice way.

Luckily for Ben Platt, he was able to immerse himself back in the role of Evan Hansen, while Stephen Chbosky and company built the character’s world around him. Rather than a small ensemble and limited set pieces, the film adaptation makes the environment feel much more real. Add in killer cast members like Julianne Moore and Amy Adams, and Dear Evan Hansen certainly has a ton of talent behind it.

Dear Evan Hansen will hit theaters on September 24th. In the meantime, check out the 2021 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.