Ben Platt being kissed by Hasty Pudding actors.

Ben Platt (center) gets his Pudding Pot and a kiss from Hasty Pudding’s Fotini Anastopoulos '20 and Michael Fine '20.

Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff Photographer

Campus & Community

A pitch perfect welcome

3 min read

Ben Platt, Hasty Pudding’s Man of the Year, gets a musical tour of Farkas Hall and the coveted Pudding Pot

All 17 members of the Radcliffe Pitches a cappella group huddled excitedly in Farkas Hall Friday morning, awaiting the arrival of Ben Platt, Hasty Pudding’s Man of the Year.

Hasty Pudding members Nick Amador ’22 and Amir Siraj ’21 paced the foyer, preparing to give the Broadway star a tour of the hall, part of the festivities leading up to the award ceremony in the evening.

“I’m so excited. I love ‘Dear Evan Hansen,’” said Amador, referring to the hit Broadway musical that featured Platt in the title role.

At 26, the actor and singer is the youngest recipient in the 54-year history of the prize. In his relatively brief career he has had major roles on stage (at age 9, he played Winthrop Paroo in “The Music Man” alongside Kristin Chenoweth), in several television shows (including “The Politician,” for which he won a Golden Globe for best actor), and in films (the “Pitch Perfect” franchise). But his breakout role came in “Evan Hanson,” for which he won a Grammy, a Tony, and an Emmy.

“It was really exciting [to win the Hasty Pudding prize] and also crazy to be the youngest,” Platt said. “I don’t feel totally worthy, but I’m excited to be here, and I love theater and musical comedy.”

During the tour, which featured displays chronicling the theatrical society’s storied history, Platt took note of some of the previous Hasty Pudding recipients like Meryl Streep — “Everybody wants to be Meryl,” he said — and Rashida Jones, who composed the music for one of the shows.

Ben Platt with tour guides.

Platt (left) tours Farkas Hall with Nick Amador ’22 (right) and Amir Siraj '21.

Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer

“I would have assumed she would have written the book or something like that, but I find it very impressive,” he said of the TV and film actor, who also has several screenwriting credits.

Platt, known for his role as Benji Applebaum in the wildly popular “Pitch Perfect” movies, got a chuckle from the Radcliffe Pitches’ introduction.

“We are the Barden Bellas,” quipped the group’s president, Sophie Webster ’21, referencing the a cappella group from the fictional Barden University around which the movies are centered.

Platt was serenaded by the Pitches, gamely joining in for a dance with Sydney McDonald ’21.

“They were wonderful,” Platt enthused. “Beautiful blend, beautiful intonation, and they let me dance with them.

“They wore beautiful pearls, what’s not to love?” he added.

Ben Platt adds his name to the plaque listing past Hasty Pudding winners.

Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer

Ben Platt putting his name on the plaque.

As the newest winner of the Man of the Year Award, Platt joins the ranks of stars like Ryan Reynolds, Paul Rudd, Martin Scorsese, and Samuel L. Jackson.

“Hopefully, it’s just sort of like a fire under my butt to keep delivering and keep earning the title, because I haven’t had much time yet,” he said.

Additional scheduled festivities included a celebratory roast at 8 p.m., followed by a press conference at 8:30 p.m. The Hasty Pudding troupe would also perform their production of “Mean Ghouls.”

“I am nervous [about the roast],” Platt admitted. “I’ve never been roasted before, but I’m excited. I’m very excited.”

Ben Platt posing with a Harvard student.

Ben Platt (right) is entertained by Sydney McDonald '21 and the Radcliffe Pitches.

Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer