Last year Ben Platt, CC ’16, landed a major role in the college a cappella comedy Pitch Perfect, which is set to release in early October. Now he’s settling into the college community and singing in Columbia’s Nonsequitur group. Bwog’s Film Fanatic, Alison Herman, caught up with the budding celebrity…
Bwog: When did you start singing professionally?
Ben: When I was nine years old. I went to a kid’s theater program and one of the casting directors from the Hollywood Bowl—which is a big theater in LA—came and said, “Do any of you guys want to audition for something at the Hollywood Bowl? We need little kids.” I ended up getting it.
Bwog: How did you get to be in the movie?
Ben: I didn’t really know much about it; I just heard that it was a project about the world of college a cappella, and I figured that was right up my alley, so I went in and had to sing a couple bars of Adele and read a scene. After two or three weeks, I got the part. It was the week before I was supposed to come to school last year.
Bwog: What’s your role and where’d you shoot?
Ben: We shot in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, which is not the most exciting town, but it’s pretty cool—and there’s LSU, so we tailgated a bunch. My role is a guy named Benji, which is nice that I have the same name, and he’s the roommate of the main guy. He’s kind of a nerd, a little bit weird, and doesn’t really fit in, but is in love with a cappella. He auditions for the group, and they don’t let him in because of how weird he is, so he follows them around and tries to get in with the group.
Bwog: What was it like being in a movie?
Ben: In theater you go in and have the whole experience of the character each night as a whole. You can look back on your performance and know exactly what you’ve done. In a film, it’s three months of pieces that come together and become a performance, and it’s scarier because you don’t know exactly what it gets edited into. You have a little less control over it.
Bwog: Was it weird that you were in a movie about a cappella before you were in an actual a cappella group?
Ben: It is weird. The whole initiation thing I went through we acted out in the movie. I can’t wait to see the movie with my real a cappella group, ’cause that’ll be super meta.
Bwog: What’s your favorite/least favorite song to sing?
Ben: My favorite song is probably “Feeling Good,” the Michael Buble arrangement. And my least favorite song… I’m really sick of “Someone Like You,” the Adele song.
[Interview edited for brevity]
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