The hit Broadway musical, Dear Evan Hansen, which won Olivier, Tony and Grammy awards, comes to the big screen, courtesy of a Universal Pictures adaptation, on September 24. The film stars the musical’s original star, Tony winner Ben Platt, in the title role as high school senior Evan Hansen struggling with mental illness, fitting in and finding his place in school and in life. The film’s cast includes Julianne Moore, Amy Adams, Amandla Stenberg and Kaitlyn Dever. This authentic and intimate adaptation shines a light on mental illness, family drama and the high school experience—something the real life mother-of-two Julianne Moore can surely relate to. In the film adaptation, Moore plays Heidi Hansen, the single mother of Evan Hansen, who is grappling with her son’s depression and social anxiety while at the same time, working 24/7 as a nurse to provide for her family.
We spoke to Moore about taking on this maternal role in Dear Evan Hansen so beautifully.
You play a mom to a son who’s dealing with a lot of social and mental issues. Did you ever find yourself tapping into yourself as a mother while filming this role?
Oh my gosh. Yes, of course. It really spoke to my teenagers when I first took them to see the show years ago in New York City. I can remember when my son was 14 and he stopped talking to me and I would just find a way to spend time with him, take him shopping for jeans or do something with him to connect. I just tried to be in his orbit while giving him space. You want to be there for your kids.
Can you please talk about the evolution of Ben Platt’s performance in this role from Broadway to the big screen?
Ben’s performance is so original and so electric.
How does this story translate so effortlessly to the big screen?
People come to the movies to see themselves. They don’t come to see you. Giving people a place to find their shared humanity is a wonderful thing. And a show like this is so much about connection and mental health. It’s not skirting around anything. There’s joy in it too; it’s about human beings navigating life.