Though Alana’s vulnerability is concurrently sudden and hanging, Stenberg’s model of the character will not be a foil to Evan Hansen, the titular character and antihero protagonist reprised by the inimitable Ben Platt. Quite, Beck is a mirror, reflecting the same old coming-of-age trope: Appearances will be deceiving. “There are literally tons of people that really feel comparable [to Evan], and Alana reveals herself to be a kind of folks, regardless that you may not assume that about her,” she clarifies.The movie, which is equally heavy as (if no more so than) the unique present, debuted on September 24, however Stenberg and I caught up earlier within the month over Zoom. Between the New York Style Week frenzy and getting ready for her journey to the Toronto Worldwide Movie Pageant, she talked with me about Pricey Evan Hansen and her character in addition to her private fashion and, crucially, her ardour for talking up about psychological well being. “It was actually thrilling for me to play a Black lady with nervousness and despair,” she shares. “It has taken years for me to reach on the level the place I can hunt down the assistance and remedy that I would like as a result of that remedy will not be tremendous normalized. So to play a Black lady that’s on meds was actually gratifying.” It’s no coincidence that we sought out Stenberg for Who What Put on’s October cowl (along with her expanded function within the extremely anticipated movie, it’s Despair and Psychological Well being Screening Month), so it was great to have the ability to have a dialog that was refreshingly candid, weak, and a bit therapeutic. We referred to as in from our respective dwellings in Brooklyn, and Stenberg elected to make this a video-free interview. That’s only one manner she chooses to set boundaries and protect her stamina throughout this busy interval of publicity and excessive visibility. It’s not misplaced on anybody that music performs a big function in how Stenberg takes care of her psychological well being. Notably, a number of of her previous initiatives have featured her singing, whether or not in character or over the credit. The timing of Pricey Evan Hansen can be prescient, aligning with Stenberg’s launch of her first unique single and music video that she produced and wrote herself. “I’m on this actually thrilling second the place I’m much less afraid or, no less than, really feel developed sufficient as a musician to point out that off to the world,” Stenberg emotes. Though, she remains to be debating over the tune’s title, which she acknowledges is a important merchandise on her huge to-do record.