Platt Responds To “Evan Hansen” Trailer Jabs
Earlier this week came the first trailer for the film adaptation of the Broadway musical “Dear Evan Hansen” in what appeared to be a fairly faithful adaptation of the material.
Reaction however was mixed at best with a lot of the negativity toward the trailer focused on the look of 27-year-old actor Ben Platt in the lead role as high school kid Evan Hansen.
Platt won Tony, Grammy, and Emmy awards for his performance in the Broadway version years ago. Despite some make-up and hair adjustments though, Platt looks his age here which makes him stand out amidst various age-appropriate castmates around him.
This has resulted in backlash drawing comparisons to Hulu’s “Pen15” or Steve Buscemi’s high school kid in a “30 Rock” skit. Speaking with Vanity Fair, filmmaker Stephen Chbosky explained why there was never any plans to recast:
“You just have to hear him sing the songs. 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. And to me it was never even a consideration.”
Platt tells the outlet he did everything he could to look more teenage-like for the feature:
“I’d lost about 15 pounds and did a very specific diet, grew my hair out, and was shaving to make sure that I didn’t look like I had five o’clock shadow all the time, you know. I was just stripping myself into being a teenager for the last time. For what is hopefully the last time.”
Musical adaptations have faced this issue before, the “Rent” film famously using the original cast of then mid-30s actors to play characters in their early 20s. Ultimately if the material is good enough, the film should stand the test of time.
“Dear Evan Hansen” is expected to arrive in theaters on September 24th.