Dear Evan Hansen: Kaitlyn Dever Explains Zoe Murphy’s Key Core Quality - VRGyani News and Media

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Sunday, September 26, 2021

Dear Evan Hansen: Kaitlyn Dever Explains Zoe Murphy’s Key Core Quality

Everyone in Dear Evan Hansen struggles with immense challenges, but Zoe Murphy’s (Kaitlyn Dever) experience comes across as especially complex — yes, due to the script and source material, but also thanks to the humanity and nuance Dever brings to the role.

Dear Evan Hansen brings the Tony Award winning musical to the big screen with Ben Platt returning as the title character, a high school student struggling with anxiety and loneliness. Evan’s therapist suggests he write letters to himself, but one day, one of Evan’s letters ends up in the wrong hands, the school bully's, Connor Murphy (Colton Ryan). Soon after, Connor takes his own life and when Connor’s mother (Amy Adams) finds the letter, she assumes Connor wrote it to Evan and that they were friends. In an effort to offer Connor’s family some solace amidst their grief, Evan perpetuates this misunderstanding.

As Connor’s sister, Dever must convey the character’s grief over her loss, but she's also got to incorporate the confusion connected to the possibility that there was a whole side to her brother that she knew nothing about and her feeling for Evan as he becomes a bigger part of her family as well. While on Collider Ladies Night, I asked Dever about managing all of those emotions at once. She began:

“It is such a whirlwind of emotions. The musical itself has a lot of up and downs, and it’s such a complex story. And I do think what [director] Stephen [Chbosky] did so well is he did keep the levity in there, too. There are a lot of laughs too, amongst it being a very heartbreaking and tragic story.”

RELATED: Kaitlyn Dever Explains What Made Ben Platt the Ideal Scene Partner on 'Dear Evan Hansen'

Dever noted that Zoe’s sarcasm is one of her favorite qualities of the character, but pinpointed Zoe’s love for her family as the element that proved to be the guiding light while in the midst of this whirlwind of emotions. Here’s how she put it:

“I think the thing that allowed me to combat all of the emotions that she’s feeling — the rejection of grief, the anger towards her family, the anger towards the situation, the frustration she has and all of it, all of it combined — and this is something that actually Stephen and I talked about, we talked about this a lot actually — but underneath all of that, even the scene with her mom right before ‘Requiem’ starts in the movie, that scene is so heartbreaking because she just wants her mom to understand her. But they both want to understand each other, and at the core of that is love. And so Zoe has so much love for her family and she’s trying to hold it all together, and I think that’s what got me through the whole journey. And so even when there’s those heartbreaking and sad moments or even when she’s so frustrated and angry, there is that layer of love there always and I think that that was something that I was constantly reminding myself of when I was playing her.”

Want to hear more from Dever on her collaboration with Platt, what it was like auditioning for Justified at such a young age, what she learned from working on Last Man Standing for so many years? You can catch our full uncut Collider Ladies Night conversation in podcast form below:

KEEP READING: 'Midnight Mass' Star Kate Siegel Explains How She Met Mike Flanagan and Why Her Acting Changed Forever That Day



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