The wait is finally over for Universal Picture's feature-film adaptation of the popular and beloved stage musical Dear Evan Hansen.
Directed by The Perks of Being a Wallflower's Stephen Chbosky with a screenplay from Steven Levenson, the movie version of Dear Evan Hansen tells a complicated (and sometimes messy) story of a high school boy (Out cover star Ben Platt) who gets tangled up in a web of lies after he is mistaken for being a friend of a classmate who took his own life. Though not explicitly about queerness, Dear Evan Hansen explores a lot of important and timely themes like mental health, loneliness, and figuring out who you are, so it's no secret why so many LGBTQ+ folks are drawn to the story.
Out got to chat with a few of Dear Evan Hansen's stars, including Oscar-winning actress Julianne Moore, The Hate U Give's Amandla Stenberg, and Booksmart's Kaitlyn Dever about the musical's queer fanbase, what it was like working (and singing) alongside Tony winner Ben Platt, and more.
"Of course queer people can relate to the themes of isolation or feeling awkward as you figure out who you are or not being sure of how to step forward in the world and be yourself," out actor Amandla Stenberg, who plays Alana Beck, told Out about the film's queer relatability, especially since they co-star in it alongside other out actors like star Ben Platt and Nik Dodani. "Of course they are universal themes, but they're definitely queer as hell. And so that was totally an element of why I related to it."
"And actually, my character Alana is queer," they continued, revealing that their character is, in fact, also a member of the LGBTQ+ community. "Because of the limit of time of having a three-hour musical put onto the screen, I think there's less time for you to glean that, but that was something that was really important to me that she is queer. And you do understand that that's a part of her identity too. And a part of why she cares so deeply about people who feel like they're alone. So yeah, this one is definitely for the gays."
Dear Evan Hansen is now playing in theaters.