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re: Vulture: How Old Does Ben Platt Look in Dear Evan Hansen?
Last Edit: JereNYC 12:07 pm EDT 09/10/21
Posted by: JereNYC (JereNYC@aol.com) 12:06 pm EDT 09/10/21
In reply to: re: Vulture: How Old Does Ben Platt Look in Dear Evan Hansen? - mikem 11:36 am EDT 09/10/21

The essential question that pieces like this ignore is "Would DEAR EVAN HANSEN be a better movie if someone else was cast in the lead, instead of Ben Platt?"

Of course, this film adaptation was never going to happen without Platt, which is just one of the many huge perks of having as wealthy producer for a father.

But...let's pretend for a moment that the sole objective here was to make the very best film adaptation of DEH possible. Would it have been better if someone more age appropriate was cast in the lead, someone like Andrew Barth Feldman, who actually is (or was, when he played the lead on Broadway) an actual teen? Might a talented teen have been plucked from the ranks of Disney or Nickelodeon or whatever platform is launching teen stars on television these days?

Or was Platt's performance in the role so very special and unique that preserving it is worth casting a now-27 year old in the role? And, if so, what does that say about the show's future as a stage property? Is it a FUNNY GIRL, where it's just never going to be as good without the original star to the point that it falls out of the repertory and just isn't performed any longer within a decade or two? Is it a MAME, a show that will be produced now and then, almost always disappointingly, with central performances that never quite stack up to the legend of the original, and, instead, reveal the weaknesses in the material that weren't as apparent originally? Have the various productions around the world that were running prior to the pandemic suffered for the lack of Platt's presence?

It's very easy to make fun of the actor who's appallingly too old for the role, and it's even easier to take shots at a privileged Hollywood scion whose Daddy is producing a movie for him to star in. But is Platt a latter day Jennifer Holliday or Pia Zadora? Do people want to see DEH without him? Or is this film an expensive vanity project that will be forgotten soon enough?

There are a lot more interesting angles to take here than yet another "OMG! Look how OLD he is!" piece.
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Next: re: Vulture: How Old Does Ben Platt Look in Dear Evan Hansen? - WaymanWong 04:34 pm EDT 09/11/21
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