Ben Platt Clapped Back at People Who Said He’s Too Old for ‘Dear Evan Hansen’

He also made a very valid point about age in Hollywood.

The Dear Evan Hansen movie trailer dropped this week and fans can’t contain their excitement. No, seriously—have you checked Twitter? Not only are people geeking out because it’s a dream we never thought would actually come true, but because the film is led by the star who made the original Broadway musical popular, Ben Platt. Now that the dust and hype has settled, the internet is divided over whether or not Platt, age 27, is too old to reprise his role as a teen character. But he has something to say on the matter.

Okay, we know we haven’t been to the movie theaters in over a year but has everyone forgotten how Hollywood works? Thirty-year-olds play high schoolers, that’s just how it goes—ummm, hello, Pretty Little Liars? Or even Riverdale! Cole Sprouse is 28; Camila Mendes is 26; and Vanessa Morgan is 29! Per Platt, how about Grease?

“thank u from the bottom of my [heart] for the outpouring of trailer love yesterday. the film required me to revisit areas of personal pain, so seeing ppl excited & moved makes it so deeply worth it.  PS to the randos being jerks about age, read this great article and/or watch Grease,” he tweeted, which has since been deleted, according to BuzzFeed.

Platt is well aware of the age gap between him and his character, which he encourages fans to read up about in his May 18th interview with Variety

“I think everybody obviously had in their minds that I wasn’t going to stay teen-adjacent forever,” Platt told the magazine. “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.”

Finding someone new to cast as Evan never crossed director Stephen Chbosky’s mind. “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,” Chbosky said. 

It’s worth mentioning that the Broadway show was awarded five Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Original Score, and Platt took home the win for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical. So clearly, he’s the man for the job. 

Revisiting his old buddy Evan took some spiritual and physical work as well. Platt noted he lost about 15 pounds following a very specific diet, let his hair grow out, and had to set time aside everyday to shave so he didn’t risk the chance of filming with a five o’clock shadow. “I was just stripping myself into being a teenager,” he explained.

For Platt, filming the movie version of his original musical Dear Evan Hansen has been a very emotional, full-circle project. 

“The legacy of the stage performance has really changed my life, and to jeopardize that legacy in any way is a very scary thing. But I think in the back of my mind, I always felt [that] I’m going to want to show this to my children one day, and I’m going to want this immortalized.”

Dear Evan Hansen hits the big screen on September 24th.

Emily Weaver
Emily is a NYC-based freelance entertainment and lifestyle writer — though, she’ll never pass up the opportunity to talk about women’s health and sports (she thrives during the Olympics). Read more
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