Ben Platt and Beanie Feldstein met at a mutual friend’s Bat Mitzvah.It was the mid-2000s, in Los Angeles, and the two struck up the kind of conversation—out in the cocktail area—that walled them off from the rest of the event.“Sweet, sweet Lucas Hedges, who we both love so much,” she says.“He’s like a little bird that I feel like I need to take care of.During filming, Hedges was staying in a hotel in the Valley by himself; Feldstein invited him out one night to join her, Platt, and a bunch of their high-school friends.He has since “become best friends” with their crew.I feel better since we get to go through it together.”“It really is not to be believed,” Feldstein adds.“I can imagine us in high school if we read about a best-friend duo that was on Broadway. ’ We would watch every interview they did.”After high school, Platt attended Columbia University and Feldstein selected Wesleyan University, in Middletown, Connecticut, about two hours away.
This was before they each had cell phones, so the pair didn’t connect again until high school, when they reconvened on the first day of ninth grade, as students at Los Angeles’s prestigious Harvard-Westlake School.“Ben was wearing that shirt with a recycling symbol on it, I’ll never forget,” Feldstein says.“Just for the whole world to see him through my lenses, you know?” she had said, before turning to address him directly.“And light gray Urban Outfitters tight jeans,” Platt adds, immediately.
They discovered that Feldstein’s free period was Just over a decade later, Platt and Feldstein, now both 24, are currently performing in Broadway shows across the street from one another.’ It’s just like these Jewish mothers, I love it.”Platt—who has shouldered an immense physical and mental weight in taking on the role of the depressed high-school senior—is still processing what his time on the show means to him. You can come to terms with, ‘It’s going to be so great not to have to come and sing every day and not wear out my voice, and I can have a drink and not curse to the heavens if I don’t get 10 hours of sleep.’ But I mean, it has changed every single aspect of my life. And then the other one was a really exciting thing that was more of a gamble, but anything like that is . They definitely want to find a project to collaborate on soon, though they are waiting for the right one.(The list of actors they’d love to work with includes Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Kristen Wiig.)As they walk out into the streets of New York together in the early evening, about to head uptown for the calls for their Broadway shows, whispering, giggling, a single unit, I think about how Feldstein described watching Platt at the Tonys.In June, Platt won the Tony Award for lead actor for his remarkable, nuanced turn in opposite Bette Midler.