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Netflix's The Politician: Cast and Character Guide

The Politician Cast and Character Guide

Netflix's The Politician has a rich cast of characters, filled with both newcomers and familiar faces, so we've put together a Who's-Who of Saint Sebastian High School. The show stars Ben Platt as Payton Hobart, the adopted son of a wealthy family who has already plotted out his path to becoming President of the United States - a path that begins with him winning the election for Student Body President.

Created by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Ian Brennan, The Politician's first season consists of eight episodes that explore the ups and downs of Payton's burgeoning political career. Having feverishly studied the lives of every U.S. president from Reagan onwards, Payton has built his whole life around following a road map to the White House. However, when his campaign advisors tell him that he needs to find a softer and more sympathetic running mate in order to win the election, things start heading down a track that could ruin Payton's dreams of glory.

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Easily the biggest name in The Politician's cast is Gwyneth Paltrow, who plays Payton's adoring adoptive mother. Jessica Lange, who starred in Murphy and Falchuk's anthology series American Horror Story, also plays a pivotal role in The Politician. Platt is best known for his role in the Pitch Perfect movies, and as Payton he once again gets to show off his vocal talents. Here's our breakdown of the main cast of characters in The Politician.

  • Ben Platt as Payton Hobart - A high school senior running for student body president, who is determined to win the election and go on to study at Harvard University.
  • Gwyneth Paltrow as Georgina Hobart - Payton's adoptive mother, who loves him even more than her two biological sons, but is struggling to maintain the home life that Payton needs to succeed.
  • Bob Balaban as Keaton Hobart - Payton's adoptive father, who has little regard for him and prefers to stay in his office, ordering expensive books that he plans to read one day.
  • Trey Eason and Trevor Eason as Luther and Martin Hobart - Payton's spoiled and sociopathic older brothers, who attend Harvard but don't share Payton's grand career goals.
  • David Corenswet as River Barkley - A fellow student whom Payton grew close to when River was hired as his Mandarin tutor. At his girlfriend's behest, River decides to run against Payton in the election.
  • Lucy Boynton as Astrid - River's girlfriend and the daughter of wealthy but dysfunctional parents, Astrid is determined to push River to greatness.
  • Zoey Deutch as Infinity Jackson - A cancer patient at Saint Sebastian High School, who is approached by Payton with the offer of becoming his running mate.
  • Jessica Lange as Dusty Jackson - Infinity's grandmother and guardian, who milks Infinity's illness for everything it's worth, from free food to all-expenses-paid trips.
The Politician - James Alice and McAfee

Payton isn't alone in pursuing his goal of becoming Student Body President, as he's accompanied by a loyal entourage who are determined to do whatever it takes to help him succeed. Unfortunately, there are also plenty of people working against him - from formidable political opponents to romantic rivals and people who just plain want him dead.

  • Julia Schlaepfer as Alice - Payton's girlfriend, who has plans to one day become the First Lady of the United States. While she may be ambitious, her love for Payton is very real.
  • Theo Germaine as James - Payton's friend since they were eight years old, and now one of his loyal campaign advisors, who grows concerned when he sees Payton putting his campaign in danger.
  • Laura Dreyfuss as McAfee - Payton's other campaign advisor, who is similarly devoted to him but finds her commitment tested as the campaign progresses.
  • Rahen Jones as Skye - A fierce student activist who becomes a political rival for Payton in the countdown to election day, and is determined to succeed.
  • Benjamin Barrett as Ricardo - Infinity's secret boyfriend. Ricardo isn't exactly bright, but he'll do anything for his girl.
  • Ryan J. Haddad as Andrew - A student with cerebral palsy who is ignored by most of the student body, but harbors a secret that could destroy Payton's campaign.
  • Russell Posner as Elliot Beachman - A "swing voter" at Saint Sebastian who is utterly apathetic to both of the candidates.

The Politician also features Dylan McDermott and January Jones as Astrid's parents, and the final episode introduces Judith Light and Bette Midler as two characters who will play a key role in The Politician season 2.

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