Actors Ben Platt and Amandla Stenberg both feel a strong kinship with their characters in their new film "Dear Evan Hansen."
In “Dear Evan Hansen,” the mental health challenges and social anxiety faced by many people are sharply reflected in the difficulties portrayed by the film’s central characters. Ben Platt plays Evan Hansen, the Tony-winning role he originated in Broadway, while Amandla Stenberg plays Alana.
Platt and Stenberg candidly admit that they experience similar struggles with their characters.
"I have some breathing techniques. I also am on medication. I'm on the same dosage, and the same medication as Alana. That's actually been a really critical tool for me. I'm also in therapy. I'm a huge proponent of therapy. I think therapy is really important and should just be normalized because why don't we treat our mental health, the same way that we treat our physical health," Stenberg says.
“Dear Evan Hansen’s” story and powerful songs like "You Will Be Found" and "Waving Through a Window" have resonated with audiences who packed its Broadway shows and patronized its memorable soundtrack.
Platt feels connected to Evan’s insecurities and anxiety because he knows how it feels. He shares how he has developed coping mechanisms to help him on difficult days.
Platt also tells how he thinks that music has a magical ability to help uplift one's mood. "I am also in therapy, and also love it and I also take medication for anxiety. I find that music is also a really helpful tool for me both in terms of getting to write and sing and perform, and also listening to music and dancing to music and running to music. It’s a good sort of boost out of your mental state. And I'm very lucky to have a very loving partner as well who's very helpful in my moments of anxiety as well."
“Dear Evan Hansen” which came out in theaters on September 24, also stars Amy Adams and Julianne Moore.