The direct role in Broadway’s “Dear Evan Hansen” not just earned Ben Platt that a Tony Award, but he now curates an Instagram accounts with more celebrity sightings compared to Met Gala. Considering that the music turned into a smash hit last autumn, actors such as Julianne Moore, Morgan Freeman and Ralph Fiennes have come back night after night to pay their respects. But there is A-list, and then there is God.
On the day he talks to Variety, the 24-year-old Platt is reeling from an experience with Beyoncé. Only the evening before, Queen Bey arrived to watch “Dear Evan Hansen” and sneaked a trip to his dressing room after the show. What did she need to say to him? “She phoned me an alien,” Platt says, beaming like it is the biggest compliment he has ever gotten.
“The 1 thing I usually say about her is that I do not know how she is a human being, since she is ready to dance full out and sing with such ability and you never sense that she is out of breath,” says Platt, who listens to her own tunes during SoulCycle. “It is so perfect, she has to be otherworldly. So for her to say that for me — I am still kind of in denial that it occurred.”
Platt is now Broadway’s largest breakout because “Hamilton” flipped Lin-Manuel Miranda to a national treasure. His Tony-winning turn as Evan, an awkward teenager who allows a lie spiral out of control, has transferred him outside the character-actor box (in movies like “Pitch Perfect”) and to nerdy heartthrob land. Fans clamor in the stage door to catch a glimpse, and he counts thousands and thousands of groupies on social networking.
Platt’s volcanically psychological performance, which he originally delivered eight times every week, has him singing and crying concurrently.
But besides the decoration in his mantle, Platt has spent the previous year adopting an ascetic lifestyle that kept him healthy enough to perform with the demanding part of Evan. He slept eight to eight hours per night, exercised frequently (largely SoulCycle; weight training might have a constrictive effect in his voice), required nutritional supplements such as fish oil and bromelain and peppermint, and watched a physical therapist (to counteract the effects of Evan’s hunched posture) and also a voice instructor two times per week each.