One day, you’re winning The Jimmy Awards. The next, you’re starring in a Hollywood blockbuster comedy opposite Jennifer Lawrence—this is reality for Dear Evan Hansen alum Andrew Barth Feldman. His latest project is the comedy film No Hard Feelings, scheduled to hit movie theatres June 23.
Feldman stars as Percy, an introverted, awkward, college-bound teenager with a set of eccentric helicopter parents (Broadway favorites Laura Benanti and Matthew Broderick). When Maddie (Lawrence) finds herself in financial trouble, she answers a Craigslist listing from Percy’s parents—a free car in exchange for “dating” their son, in an attempt to give him a little boost in confidence and social skills before he gets to college.
“Percy is definitely anti-social. He’s afraid of the world,” Feldman says. “But he’s really kind. And he’s really sensitive. And he has so much to give the world, if only he can break out of his shell.” Feldman’s Percy is hilariously lovable. As an audience member you root for him, laughing with (and sometimes at) him. At an early screening, audible “aww”s echoed in the theatre during several of Percy’s scenes.
While there are some more serious themes like anti-bullying, as Percy opens up to Maddie about unkind classmates in his past that have contributed to him folding into himself, moviegoers should be prepared to laugh at No Hard Feelings. From out-of-control joyrides to a high school house party turned catastrophic, the film is comical and daring. “There’s a sense of like, “Are you seeing this? Are we both seeing what’s happening?” Feldman says.
Neither starring on Broadway or in Hollywood have inflated Feldman’s ego. “I've been pretty diligent about maintaining my gratitude and remembering all the dominoes that had to fall to get here,” Feldman says. And his humility is evident—when Feldman talks about his career, a remarkable one at just 21 years old, he is exceptionally down to earth.
Playbill readers may remember Feldman’s path, from winning the 2018 Jimmy Awards to playing Evan in Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway the following year at age 16 (the first real high schooler to play the titular high schooler). Since then, he’s worked on projects like the TikTok Ratatouille musical, guest starring on High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, and the Netflix film A Tourist’s Guide to Love.
As for next steps, Feldman says he’s “pretty desperate to get back to theatre,” with hopes of originating a role on Broadway. At the same time, he is not particular about which medium he works in. “It wasn’t like I chose this because I wanted to pivot to film,” Feldman says. “It was really just because I cared about this character so much, and knew it was going to be the greatest time ever. It’s sort of the same guiding force that guides me toward doing something in theatre that would guide me to something in film or TV: Do I care about this? Is it striking something in my heart?”
For now, fans can catch No Hard Feelings in theatres beginning June 23. Spoiler alert—in the midst of all the action, you might even get a glimpse of the musical talent that brought Feldman to Broadway. “I just think people are gonna like it. Because why wouldn't they? It's so fun. It's like, look at my face. And imagine Jennifer Lawrence's face next to it,” Feldman quips. “There's nothing not funny about it.”