Ben Platt speaks out about Dear Evan Hansen age abuse: ‘The internet can be horrific’

<span>Photograph: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Ben Platt, who won a Tony award for his role as depressed teenager Evan Hansen on Broadway but was mocked for also taking on the part in last year’s big screen transfer, has said he found the movie’s reception “disappointing”.

In a new interview with the New York Times, Platt said: “It was definitely a disappointing experience, and difficult, and it definitely opened my eyes to the internet and how horrific it can be.”

Related: Dear Evan Hansen review – satanically ingenious musical is suffocatingly ersatz

Platt, who broke through with his role in 2012’s Pitch Perfect, was 27 when he shot the film, in which his character is at least a decade younger. Such disparity is not unusual – Michael J Fox was 31 when he made Back to the Future Part III, and Stockard Channing was 33 in Grease – but abuse began about his appearance from the film’s first trailer.

Viewers felt Platt looked out of place in the high school corridors, and that efforts to de-age him were unsuccessful and distracting. Writing on Twitter in response to such reaction last May, Platt called detractors “randos being jerks about age”. He has since quit the social media platform.

Platt is one of the stars of Richard Linklater’s adaptation of the Sondheim musical Merrily We Roll Along, which is being filmed in snatches over a 20-year period, to accurately represent the ageing process.