Dear Evan Hansen details the tale of a high school teenager with crippling social anxiety disorder. The titular teen tries his best to navigate his senior year while undergoing a journey of self-acceptance and discovery after a classmate takes their own life. The story was initially a Broadway production, but film producers decided to turn it into a movie after its success. Dear Evan Hansen premiered in theaters on Sept 24, 2021, with a star-studded cast. Keep reading to learn more about the actors behind the movie.
‘Dear Evan Hansen’ the musical was a smashing success
As highlighted above, Dear Evan Hansen focuses on Evan in his senior year of high school as he takes on the tragedy of another boy as a reason for him to live. The musical saw the anxious high schooler make up a non-existent friendship with a fellow student who died by suicide. Evan’s prolonged lie is all a means of helping the student’s family cope with the loss.
The musical premiered on Broadway in 2016 and immediately received universal praise from critics and audiences alike. Actor Ben Platt received a ton of praise for his role in the musical as the eponymous character, who instantly becomes an internet sensation and raises awareness on mental health was lauded for his performance. The Broadway show snagged six Tony Awards, including Best Musical and a leading actor award for Platt.
The ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ movie cast is different from the musical’s cast
In the movie, Platt plays Evan while Julianne Moore (Crazy Stupid Love and Still Alice) plays Heidi Hansen, Evan’s mother, who calls him out on his sass. Platt is mostly known for his involvement with the Pitch Perfect franchise and The Politician.
Amy Adams (Catch Me If You Can, The Fighter, and Enchanted) plays the victim’s (Connor) mother, Cynthia Murphy. Kaitlyn Dever (Last Man Standing and Unbelievable) plays Zoe Murphy, Connor’s sister, and Evan’s love interest.
Colton Ryan (Girl From the North Country) provides the foundation for the movie, as he appears as the social outcast, Connor, who takes his life and sets the course for the film. Nik Dodani (Atypical) plays Evan’s friend Jared, who helps the protagonist fake emails to prove a non-existent friendship to Connor’s parents.
Amandla Stenberg plays Alana, who starts a crowdfunding campaign with Evan. Sternberg delivered a fantastic performance in The Hate U Give, The Darkest Minds, and Colombiana. (She was also Rue in The Hunger Games.)
The producers got a new cast to play the roles in the film, with Platt being the only actor from the musical to reprise his role. He also played the socially awkward Evan in the 2016 Broadway musical. Rachel Bay Jones played Evan’s mother, Heidi, in the musical, while Laura Dreyfuss appeared as Zoe Murphy.
Jennifer Laura Thompson played Cynthia Murphy, and Michael Parker and John Dossett played Larry Murphy. Mike Faist and Will Pullen played Connor, while Alana was portrayed by several actors, including Erin Wilhelm, Emily Walton, and Alexus Molnar. Alex Wyse and Will Roland both played Jared Kleinman.
How can you watch ‘Dear Evan Hansen’?
Dear Evan Hansen premiered in theaters only on Sept. 24, with an early release during the Toronto International Film Festival. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic, most people who prefer to stay away from theaters hope they can catch Dear Evan Hansen from the comforts of their homes.
Even though Hamilton wasn’t an adaptation like Dear Evan Hansen, it was made available for streaming after its theatrical release, and fans of Dear Evan Hansen are hopeful that the film will follow suit. Reuters reports that Universal intends to send all its new flicks to the streaming service Peacock four months after they hit theaters. This means that fans will most likely have to wait until the end of the year to stream Dear Evan Hansen.
How to get help: In the U.S., call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Or text HOME to 741-741 to speak with a trained crisis counselor at the free Crisis Text Line.