The Dear Evan Hansen actor wins as Payton Hobart.
We love a good fight, and elections are among the most exciting ones. The absurdity of Election, starring a harried Matthew Broderick and a very young, very very determined Reese Witherspoon. The hilarity of the 1996 movie My Fellow Americans, starring James Garner and Jack Lemmon. Even Netflix’s House of Cards, for all its grim, chilling reflections of real world politics, had moments of wicked glee.
So the thought of another high school election, set in California, with a stellar cast, well, it just brings us joy and excitement.
Oh, and there are musical numbers too. But that shouldn’t be surprising, coming from Ryan Murphy of Glee fame.
Ben Platt stars in The Politician, as Payton Hobart, a wealthy student from Santa Barbara, California. Payton vows to become the next President of the United States, and he has a plan: get elected Student Body President, secure a spot at Harvard, and stay on his singular path to success. But first, he’ll have to navigate the most treacherous political landscape of all: Saint Sebastian High School. Payton will have to outsmart his ruthless classmates without sacrificing his morality and carefully crafted image.
Platt first wowed critics and crowds in the 2015-2017 Broadway productions of Dear Evan Hansen. Playing the lead role, he won a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical. In movies, Ben held his own alongside Anna Kendrick in Pitch Perfect and Meryl Streep in Ricki and the Flash.
And in The Politician, Platt just plain wins. Here’s why.
Crying on cue
Payton says he never cries, and yet he’s one of the most emotional characters on the show. For his role, Platt cried four times—yes, we counted—and every moment was poignant. Don’t be surprised if tears well up in your own eyes. Go ahead, let it out.
Singing in front of a crowd
A Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical, a Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album, and an album contract with a big record label–to say that Platt can sing is an understatement. In The Politician, the musical numbers are seamlessly integrated into the show. You know, like that other show Ryan Murphy did.
Delivering lines at breakneck speed
The tires of an off-white, two-door Alfa Romeo screech to a halt in front of a house. Payton alights and rushes toward the front door, swinging it with full force. He starts screaming River’s name. He finds his schoolmate in the adjacent room. Payton quickly gives his friend a snappy and verbose lecture about NOT SCREWING WITH HIS DREAMS, complete with matching hand gesticulations.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is inimitable Ben Platt.
The suit and sneaker ensemble
A tailored suit with Gucci kicks. This combo is Payton’s uniform. And we think it looks pretty good.
Holding his own opposite some pretty heavy hitters
Gwyneth Paltrow plays Payton’s extravagant mom. Jessica Lange plays one of his schoolmates’ eccentric mother. Starring opposite these Oscar winners could mess up nerves and cause performance anxiety. But not Platt. He’s able to keep up with these Hollywood heavyweights.
Stream, download, and enjoy The Politician anytime, anywhere, starting September 27, only on Netflix.