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Turned Gentleman: Dear Evan Hansen's Jordan Fisher

Summer of 2019 was shaping up to be a great season for Jordan Fisher but when the pressures of life kicked in, it set the actor and singer on a new path towards advocating for his own mental health. The Broadway star, who is gearing up to return to the stage in the musical about a teenage kid who is consumed by social anxiety and depression, was playing a role that was oddly enough aligned with his real life. “I was engaged to my best friend in life who would become my wife. I had family and friends in town visiting. I was working on really great projects that I was excited about. All of this before I started rehearsals for Dear Evan Hansen,” Fisher describes that summer.

With a red-eye flight scheduled to Toronto to speak to 90,000 kids about being positive the next day, Jordan experienced his first panic attack. “I did not feel like me,” Jordan explains. Finally arriving home, Jordan recalls hitting the floor sobbing and panicking because he did not understand at the time what was happening to him. That confusion led him to self-exploration and therapy, and now looking back, he understands that “{he} was depressed.”

“Even the happiest people need therapy,” Fisher says. “We silently suffer, especially being a man. How is that conducive to anybody? We have to talk, we have to say things out loud… I have a relationship with anxiety, I have a relationship with depression, I now know what they are.” With his new outlook on life, it did not take long before Jordan put in the work to become a mental health advocate, not wasting any time to be a vessel for his fans to know that they are not alone in their struggles. His advocacy led him to create his merch line "Be My Friend," which was designed to support dependable communities that build up those in need. "Be My Friend" is a rallying point between communities and those who need support more than ever. It is a simple truth that we are all in this together. Fisher’s website asks, “How much easier would life be if you extended your hand to someone who needed it, and asked them to be your friend?” With a portion of the proceeds of his streetwear collection going to United Friends of the Children, Jordan is driven, knowing that people need community. And his adoring fans from Broadway to Hollywood to Twitch, all have found a sense of that through his platforms.

Before the lights, the music, and the gaming, the Dancing With The Stars champion was a young kid from Birmingham, Alabama. The trajectory of Jordan’s life was set when a school crush asked him to join the drama club, and of course, he did. With his eyes set on the stage, Fisher attended the Red Mountain Theatre Conservatory program, which spawned a slew of Broadway stars. The conservatory is also where he grew up with his now-wife, Ellie Woods. Having a story that shows a young Black boy come from Birmingham to make his Broadway debut in the wildly popular musical Hamilton, where Jordan portrayed John Laurens/Phillip Hamilton from 2016-2017, is what makes Jordan a legend in the making.

Jordan’s path has led to this moment. A moment that finds this star on the rise as he works on new music and other ventures. A moment where people look to him for inspiration through his career and his style, which Fisher attributes to the likes of David Beckham, David Bowie, Harry Styles and Prince as his fashion influences. At this moment, with a growing family, new music, and new art, Jordan is making a legacy that he hopes will live on way past him.

Check out the full interview below.

Dear Evan Hansen re-opens on Broadway on December 11, 2021, at the Music Box Theatre.

Photographer: J. Monroe

Creative Director: Dane Young

Fashion Assistants: Justin Wiley and Courtney Blackwell

Makeup Artist: Sekcenia Rosario


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