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Why Dear Evan Hansen Resonates So Well With Audiences, According To Julianne Moore

Julianne Moore in Dear Evan Hansen

With audiences returning to theaters, there’s a variety of new releases arriving over the next few months. This includes a number of movie musicals like Stephen Chbosky’s Dear Evan Hansen. Ben Platt is back in his Tony-winning role, and there’s a stellar support cast attached including the incomparable Julianne Moore. And she recently explained why the story of Dear Evan Hansen continues to resonate so well with audiences.

Dear Evan Hansen became a massive hit as soon as it premiered on Broadway, in no small part due to Ben Platt’s tour-de-force performance. Now an even wider audience will get to see the emotional story thanks to the movie adaptation, and they should probably bring their tissues. As you can see in the video above, I had the privilege of speaking with both Julianne Moore and director Stephen Chbosky, where they explained why they think Dear Evan Hansen is able to inspire such an emotional response. As Moore put it,

I think it resonates because we’ve all been there. I think we all remember or are living our adolescent experience. Of feeling like we don’t quite fit in or we don’t know what our community is and who our friends are. And navigating that passage of time is tricky for every human being. So we relate to that.

She’s got a point. Adolescent years are hard for most of us, especially those moments of uncertainty when in high school. And with Dear Evan Hansen focusing on that feeling of isolation and other-ness, it’s easy to relate to the musical’s story. Add in some killer songs by The Greatest Showman’s Pasek & Paul and you’ve got the recipe for success.

In Dear Evan Hansen, Julianne Moore plays the title character’s mother Heidi. She shares all of her scenes with Ben Platt in the process, as they bring that home to life on the big screen. Later in our conversation, Moore explained how Platt’s award-winning performance helps to bring in the audience, saying:

And I think the specificity that Ben brings to it. I always say that anytime anything is really specific, that’s when it becomes universal.

Ben Platt’s run in the Broadway production of Dear Evan Hansen one was a legendary one, as he managed to belt and weep through the character’s epic songs. Now the role will be recorded for prosperity in the movie adaptation, with a supporting cast that includes the likes of Julianne Moore, Amy Adams, and Kaitlyn Devers.

The universal nature of Dear Evan Hansen’s story was also addressed by Stephen Chbosky in the same video. He specifically cited how countless young people out there are deadline with mental health issues. And given his history with Perks of Being a Wallflower, Chbosky knows how to tell authentic teenage stories.

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

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBend. 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 famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.