In 2012, Ben Platt stole every scene he was in during his movie debut in Pitch Perfect. While movie audiences were being introduced to Platt and the world of a capella through the voice of Anna Kendrick though, Platt was busy working on the stage in The Book of Mormon, which made its move to Broadway, taking him with it, in 2014. Just three years later, Platt has earned his first Tony Award for his work in his second Broadway show, Dear Evan Hansen.
Dear Evan Hansen follows Platt as a high school student with social anxiety who accidentally makes himself popular after the tragic loss of another student. Evan’s therapy assignment accidentally becomes another student’s suicide not, propelling him into the spotlight and prompting him to spin a story of friendship that never was. The play has received tons of critical acclaim and award nominations, and for Platt, who has loved the theater since he was a young boy, the recognition is all the sweeter.
Nominated for nine Tony Awards at this year’s ceremony, the musical won six of them, including Best Actor in a Musical for Platt, Best Score, and Best Musical. Platt had previously won the Drama League’s Distinguished Performance Award for his role, and at 23, he was the youngest to ever get it, but during Sunday’s Tony Awards, the live audience got to see just what the show means to Platt as he attended the Awards with his mother, mouthing, “Oh my God,” to her before coming on stage to accept his award.
At a rapid pace where he fought back tears, Platt thanked the team behind the show and his family but also detailed falling in love with musical theater at the age of six when he played the prince in Cinderella. He closed his acceptance speech by reminding everyone watching, “not to change a thing about yourself because the things that make you strange are the things that make you powerful.”
Platt will continue his run in Dear Evan Hansen at the Music Box Theater on Broadway. A touring cast will begin a US tour in 2018.