Ben Platt is an American actor and singer. He is best known for playing Benji Applebaum in the comedy film ‘Pitch Perfect’ (2012). Ben was passionate about acting in theatre from his early childhood and made his theatre debut at the age of nine in ‘The Music Man’ where he played Winthrop Paroo. He made his Broadway debut in ‘The Book of Mormon’ in 2014. His performance in the musical ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ received positive reviews from critics as well as fans. The musical which made its debut in 2015 was later transferred to off-Broadway. Ben went on to win a ‘Tony Award’ for ‘Best Actor in a Musical’ for ‘Dear Evan Hansen.’ The musical remained in business for two years. Ben has also appeared in several films, such as ‘Pitch Perfect 2’ (2015), ‘Ricki and the Flash’ (2015), ‘Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk’ (2016), and ‘The Female Brain’ (2017). In 2018, he was roped in to play important roles in ‘Drunk Parents’ and ‘Run This Town.’ He has also appeared on the popular TV show ‘Will & Grace’ (2017).
Childhood & Early Life
Benjamin Schiff Platt was born in Los Angeles, California, on September 24, 1993, to Julie and Marc Platt. He is the fourth among five siblings.
His father, Marc Platt, is a well-known film, TV, and theatre producer. He is best known for producing hits, such as ‘La La Land’ and Broadway musical ‘Wicked.’
Ben was born into a Jewish family that encouraged singing and dancing. Hence, he developed interest in music and theatre early in his life. Ben attended ‘Adderley School for Performing Arts’ in Pacific Palisades.
He spent ten years studying musical theatre at ‘Adderley School’ and performed in productions, such as ‘Bye Bye Birdie’ and ‘Into the Woods.’ He then attended ‘Harvard-Westlake School’ from where he graduated in 2011.
Thereafter, he attended ‘Columbia University’ in New York City but dropped out after six weeks to work in the production of ‘The Book of Mormon.’ He then returned to ‘Columbia University’ to complete his college education. He became a member of a musical group ‘Nonsequitur’ at the university.
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Ben was only six-year-old when he fell in love with theatre and music. He later said that he became obsessed with theatre and just wanted to go to his class to perform as many times as he possibly could.
He made his debut at ‘The Music Man’ in 2002 at ‘Hollywood Bowl,’ Los Angeles. Ben was nine years old when he played ‘Winthrop Paroo’ in ‘The Music Man.’
At the age of 11, he became a part of the national tour of ‘Caroline, or Change.’ He, however, had a short role of five minutes. He played Noah Gellman in ‘Caroline, or Change’ (2004).
In 2005, he played Philip during the regional tour of ‘Dead End.’ At the age of 17, he appeared as Jean Valjean in the theatre production of ‘Les Misérables.’
In 2012, he became part of another regional tour titled ‘The Power of Duff.’ He played Ricky in the stage play. In the same year, he played Chris Thurser in ‘The Black Suits.’
Among the notable roles of his early career was the portrayal of Claude Bukowski in ‘Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical.’ It was a ‘Columbia University’ production.
Platt delivered his first memorable performance in ‘The Book of Mormon.’ The show premiered on December 19, 2012, at the ‘Bank of America Theatre’ and ran for almost a year. Ben’s performance received positive reviews from critics. He reprised his role from ‘The Book of Mormon’ at ‘Eugene O'Neill Theatre.’ This time around the play ran from 2014 to 2015.
The 2002 musical comedy ‘Pitch Perfect’ was his first major film role and his portrayal of Benji Applebaum received good reviews. The film also starred Anna Kendrick, Skylar Astin, Adam DeVine, and Brittany Snow, and became a hit, which proved beneficial to Ben’s acting career.
He reprised the role of Benji Applebaum in ‘Pitch Perfect 2,’ in 2015. In the same year, he appeared in American comedy-drama film ‘Ricki and the Flash’ that also starred Meryl Streep and Sebastian Stan. Ben portrayed Daniel in the movie, but the film did not do too well.
In 2015, he appeared in a starring role in the 2015 stage musical ‘Dear Evan Hansen.’ The show premiered on July 10, 2015, and ended on August 23, 2015. Ben played Evan Hansen, a high school student who suffers from a severe mental illness. Ben’s performance received positive reviews. Critics called his work ‘historic’ and ‘one of the greatest male performances ever.’ He reprised his role in 2016 at ‘Second Stage Theater’ where his show was sold out. In December 2016, he once again reprised his role as Evan Hansen at the ‘Music Box Theater.’ His last performance as Evan Hansen came on November 19, 2017.
In 2016, he appeared in Ang Lee’s war drama film ‘Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk.’ The movie starred Joe Alwyn, Kristen Stewart, and Vin Diesel among many others. Ben appeared as Josh in the movie. In 2017, he appeared in the Whitney Cummings comedy film ‘The Female Brain,’ which starred Whitney Cummings and Sofia Vergara.
In 2017, he also appeared in an episode of the hit TV sitcom ‘Will & Grace.’ He was signed by ‘Atlantic Records’ in the same year. On January 28, 2018, Ben performed Leonard Bernstein’s ‘Somewhere’ at the 60th ‘Annual Grammy Awards.’ He also performed with Lin-Manuel Miranda at the ‘March for Our Lives’ rally in Washington D.C. on March 24, 2018.
In 2018, he appeared in a comedy film ‘Drunk Parents.’ The film stars Alec Baldwin, Salma Hayek, and Jim Gaffigan among others. In the same year, he was roped in to play an important role in ‘Run This Town.’ The Ricky Tollman-directed thriller stars Nina Dobrev and Damian Lewis. The movie was mired in controversy when it was claimed that the makers were appropriating the story of a journalist named Robyn Doolittle. Ben is also playing a part in the ‘Netflix’ series ‘The Politician.’
Awards & Achievements
In 2013, Ben received his first nomination at the ‘Teen Choice Awards’ for ‘Pitch Perfect.’ He was nominated under the ‘Male Scene Stealer’ category. In 2016, he won an ‘Obie Award’ for his role in ‘Dear Evan Hansen.’
In 2017, he won a ‘Tony Award’ for ‘Best Actor in a Musical’ for his performance in ‘Dear Evan Hansen.’ He also won a ‘Drama League Award’ under ‘Distinguished Performance’ for ‘Dear Evan Hansen.’ In the same year, he won the ‘Lucille Lortel Award’ for ‘Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical’ for ‘Dear Evan Hansen.’ He also won ‘Favorite Leading Actor in a Musical’ and ‘Favorite Onstage Pair’ at the ‘Broadway.com Audience Awards’ for playing Evan Hansen.
He won a ‘Grammy Award’ for ‘Best Musical Theater Album’ in 2018. He won a ‘Daytime Emmy Award’ for ‘Outstanding Musical Performance in a Daytime Program’ for ‘You Will Be Found’ which was performed on ‘The Today Show.’
Family & Personal Life
Ben is a close friend of Beanie Feldstein. The two met at a mutual friend’s ‘Bat Mitzvah,’ a coming of age ritual performed in the Jewish community. They attended high school together and later performed together in many stage plays. Ben is active on Instagram where he has thousands of followers. He owns a house in California.