Now 27, Los Angeles–born Ben Platt reportedly started workshopping the starring role in the musical version of Dear Evan Hansen in the mid-2010s. “I really built it with the writers and a lot of me, my rhythms, my voice, and who I am is embedded in the character,” Ben told The Independent in July 2021.
Per Out, he appeared in the show eight times per week at the height of its fame. He gave his last stage performance in November 2017.
Ben got signed on to do the movie a few years later. Per Deadline, the first plans for the adaptation were put in motion circa 2019. Ben’s dad, Marc Platt, is one of the producers.
But it wasn’t Ben’s impeccable acting or singing chops that caught the attention of fans. The face makeup he wears throughout the movie quickly became a talking point, with many wondering about whether it’s CGI or old-fashioned prosthetics. At present, it’s unknown how the creators achieved the effect.
“[I] 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,” Ben told Variety in May 2021. “I was just stripping myself into being a teenager for the last time. For what is hopefully the last time.”