Ben Platt: Dear Evan Hansen Movie Was a Disappointing Experience Due to Horrific Backlash
Ben Platt is calling out the criticisms of the “Dear Evan Hansen” movie.
The 2021 film, which starred a then-27 year old Platt as a high school student, received immediate backlash for the odd makeup choices to de-age the “Pitch Perfect” actor. Vulture compared the film to the age-bending “The Orphan” horror movie, while IndieWire’s coverage likened Platt’s looks to that of a “serial killer” and the D-rated review drew attention to the “cascade of glaring distractions that continuously point out the artificiality of the genre.”
Now, Platt is addressing the hit-musical-turned-movie box office flop heard ’round Broadway.
“It was definitely a disappointing experience and difficult,” Platt told The New York Times. “It definitely opened my eyes to the Internet and how horrific it can be.”
Platt added, “You’d think, after doing ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ onstage for four years, I would have already known that. I try my best to focus on people who tell me it was moving to them and they really felt seen by it. It is very easy for the good to get drowned out by the bad.”
Since the movie debuted, Platt has deactivated his Twitter account.
“I find that Twitter is almost exclusively for tearing people down,” Platt said. “I wasn’t getting anything positive, and it’s been really nice to be away.”
The original 2015 “Dear Evan Hansen” musical won six Tony Awards, including Best Actor for Platt and Best Musical overall. Stephen Chbosky (“The Perks of Being a Wallflower”) helmed the film adaptation, which was produced by Platt’s father Marc Platt (“La La Land,” “Into the Woods”) and Adam Siegel (“2 Guns,” “Drive”).
IndieWire’s Eric Kohn mused that a “Dear Evan Hansen” movie could have benefited coming out four years prior, when Platt had just exited the Broadway lead role.
“The movie version of ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ retains an uncomfortable familiarity with Platt’s face, to the point where his stunned gaze and pasty white complexion hew closer to serial killer vibes than the fragility of an emotionally confused kid in over his head,” Kohn penned. “It’s unfortunate for Platt, a talented singer with a natural stage presence, who now looks out of his element with the same material that put him on the map. ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ provides a teachable moment well worth scrutinizing, in part because it’s not an abject failure.”
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