To celebrate the release of Ben Platt’s debut album Sing to Me Instead, which is out today (March 29), the actor, singer, and Broadway star sat down with Billboard to play “Fishing For Answers,” as he revealed who his first celebrity crush was and recalled the time he was starstruck by Beyoncé.
Pulling questions out of a fishbowl, one of the conversation prompts asks Platt who his first celebrity crush was, to which he replies that it was Zac Efron in High School Musical.
“That was a big awakening, I think for me and for everyone, regardless of sexuality,” he tells Billboard. “I think he just awoke the entire country because we were like, ‘Who is this kid and how can he sing and play basketball?’”
Platt also thinks back to another childhood memory when asked what the first concert he ever attended was, divulging that it was Britney Spears.
“I think it was in like Costa Mesa,” he remembers. “It was somewhere I had to drive outside of L.A. to go with my sister because my sister was like Britney fanatic and I cried most of the time because it was really loud and I was like six or seven and I was a wimp and I was like, ‘This is too loud.’ So I didn’t really appreciate her fully at first, but now, of course, I’m a Britney stan, as anyone with a mind should be.”
Asked what the highlight of his career has been so far, Platt replies that while he has had numerous wonderful moments, being a part of the Broadway musical Dear Evan Hansen and winning a Tony Award was a “dream” and is something he hoped for since he was a child doing musicals in his backyard.
As for which backstage celebrity meeting at Dear Evan Hansen left Platt the most starstruck, he names Beyoncé. “Beyoncé is the answer. Beyoncé. Beyoncé today. Beyoncé tomorrow. Beyoncé forever.”
In the interview, Platt also opens up about the inspiration behind his new record Sing To Me Instead. “I think when I started to write the album, I sort of looked at all the things in my life that I felt were worth singing about and that I felt passionate about enough to want to elaborate musically.”
Those things ended up being about his family, growing older, and watching his immediate family grow older, too. “Not that I don’t love a good song about the club, as we all do,” he adds.
You can watch the full interview with Ben Platt above to find out what the last photo he took on his phone was, what his favorite Pitch Perfect memory was, and what his top three musicals of all time are.