Ryan Murphy’s new Netflix original series stars Tony Award winner Ben Platt as a wealthy Santa Barbara, California, high school teen who has ambitions to one day become the President of the United States. Before Payton lands in the White House, however, he first must navigate high school politics as he runs for student body president.
The first season sees Payton “grappling with his ambition versus his lack of empathy and his struggles with whether or not he might have an inability to see other people’s feelings in the face of his own goals,” Platt previously told ET about the series. “It was a very fascinating character to get to play after playing someone so sort of mild-mannered as Evan. To play someone that's a bit more conniving and self-centered and conceited was a fun challenge.”
And based on the first trailer -- which is full of Murphy’s signature style for dark comedy and satire -- this is going to be one fierce battle. “Your ambition frightens me,” says Payton’s mother, who is played by Gwyneth Paltrow.
In addition to Platt and Paltrow, the series features Jessica Lange, Zoey Deutch, Lucy Boynton, Dylan McDermott, January Jones, Bob Balaban, Bette Midler and Judith Light. Rounding out the cast are rising stars Julia Schlaepfer, Laura Dreyfuss, Rahne Jones, Theo Germaine, David Corenswet and Benjamin Barrett.
“The cast is just out of this world,” said Platt, who as executive producer had a hand in putting the ensemble together. “[It’s] insane to be among them and let alone to lead them was a dream.”
“I’m so grateful to Ben for helping me out,” Deutch told ET about joining The Politician, which she describes as unlike anything seen on TV. “I feel super excited to be a part of it.”
When it came to working with Paltrow in particular, Platt recalls a “pinch me” moment when the two were filming a bedroom scene and “it felt like I was talking to my mom.” He adds that because she’s been focused on her lifestyle brand, Goop, it’s easy to “forget what an incredible actor she is… and when I got to set with her and we started acting together, I was just reminded [that] this is one of the greats.”
Can the ruthless, smart budding politician win the election without sacrificing his mortality and carefully crafted image? Only time will tell, when The Politician premieres Sept. 27 only on Netflix.