'Dear Evan Hansen' 's Julianne Moore and Amy Adams Recall Their Own High School Experiences

The two stars hope their new movie opens up the conversation about mental health

Today they are two of Hollywood's biggest stars, but Amy Adams and Julianne Moore admit that in high school, they often had trouble fitting in.

"I moved around a lot and I remember that feeling of walking into the cafeteria and not knowing where to go. It's something that has stayed with me," says Moore, 60. "I was always so happy to find a friend or a group of people or a place to go. That's the part of high school that's so terrifying, I think for all of us, the social part."

Moore and Adams have joined forces for their new film Dear Evan Hansen, which stars Ben Platt and is based on his Tony award-winning musical about a high school senior whose classmate dies by suicide. The film tackles important topics such as mental health issues and feelings of loneliness and isolation.

amy adams and julianne moore

"It's funny you bring up the lunchroom and how it sort of defines your experience to some degree. I always ate alone," says Adams, 47. "My daughter's like, 'I would have eaten with you.' But I always brought a book and ate by myself. It wasn't a bad experience, but I didn't necessarily find my people in high school."

Watch the full episode of People Features: Julianne Moore & Amy Adams on PeopleTV.com or on the PeopleTV app.

dear evan hansen
Erika Doss/Universal Pictures

Moore, who is mom to Liv, 19, and Caleb, 23, with husband Bart Freundlich, and Adams who has an 11-year-old daughter, Aviana, with husband Darren Le Gallo, both brought their kids to see the Broadway musical in New York.

"I thought it was really important for my daughter to see it," says Adams. "When I heard they were making a film, I immediately wanted to be part of it."

The two actresses also have musical numbers in the film along with cast members Platt, Kaitlyn Dever and Amandla Stenberg.

"I didn't sing publicly until I was in a high school musical and that was the last time I sang in public until this movie! It was pretty terrifying," says Moore. "But what I love about it is that the feeling is so big you can no longer speak, you have to sing it."

Dear Evan Hansen opens Sept. 24 in theaters.

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