The stakes have never been higher as political hopeful Payton Hobart enters the race for New York state senate, against an accomplished incumbent candidate who has firmly held the office for decades.
The Politician season two also sees the return of Academy Award winner Gwyneth Paltrow and breakout stars from the first outing, as well as Hollywood icon Bette Midler and sitcom legend Judith Light.
Here’s everything you need to know about the cast and characters of The Politician season two…
Ben Platt plays Payton Hobart
Who is Payton Hobart? Payton is a privileged and ambitious young man who has engineered every aspect of his life in the hopes of becoming President of the United States one day. His first political campaign, which unfolded at his Saint Sebastian High School, ended in disaster, but he’s hoping for a better result when he runs for New York state senate against veteran incumbent Dede Standish. He knows a huge secret of hers and is prepared to use it to his advantage if necessary…
Where have I seen Ben Platt before? Platt got his big break in the theatre, where he is best known for playing the title role in acclaimed musical Dear Evan Hansen, a performance which won him a Tony Award. He also appeared in the popular musical comedy film Pitch Perfect and its 2015 sequel.
Gwyneth Paltrow plays Georgina Hobart
Who is Georgina Hobart? Georgina is Payton’s adoptive mother, who went on a soul-searching adventure across the world following the emotionally challenging events of season one. Upon her return, she becomes a prominent public figure in the state of California and launches a political campaign of her own…
Where have I seen Gwyneth Paltrow before? Paltrow is one of Hollywood’s most recognisable stars, winning an Academy Award in 1998 for romantic drama Shakespeare in Love. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, she plays Tony Stark’s wife and business partner Pepper Potts, a role that spanned six different movies in total. Recently, she has become increasingly focused on her lifestyle brand, which is the subject of a Netflix series titled The Goop Lab.
Judith Light plays Dede Standish
Who is Dede Standish? Dede is the New York State Senate majority leader and has held the position for decades, often running unopposed in elections due to her popularity and clean record. However, she is hiding a secret that could ruin her reputation in the eyes of the public. For more than a decade, she has been engaged in a polyamorous relationship with two men.
Where have I seen Judith Light before? Light is perhaps best known for her starring role in hit US sitcom Who’s The Boss?, which ran for eight seasons and aired almost 200 episodes. Since then, she has appeared in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Ugly Betty and Amazon Prime’s Transparent.
Bette Midler plays Hadassah Gold
Who is Hadassah Gold? Hadassah is Dede’s chief of staff, personal adviser and close friend who has been by her side for her entire political career. Together they have won numerous elections with ease, but face their first challenge in years when Payton launches his ambitious campaign for state senate.
Where have I seen Bette Midler before? Midler is a Hollywood legend who began her career in the theatre and has gone on to dozens of major screen roles. The Rose, For The Boys, Hocus Pocus and The Stepford Wives are among her best known works.
Julia Schlaepfer plays Alice
Who is Alice? Payton’s loyal girlfriend and a crucial member of his campaign team ahead of the election, alongside James and McAfee. She also aspires to winning the White House and attempts to embody all the typical traits of a good First Lady.
Where have I seen Julia Schlaepfer before? The Politician was a breakout role for the up and coming actress, who has previously appeared in Instinct, Madam Secretary, and played Sandra Good in the Manson murders film Charlie Says.
Laura Dreyfuss plays McAfee
Who is McAfee? McAfee is arguably the sharpest political mind on Payton’s campaign team, with a laser focus on getting him elected and a dream of one day working in Washington DC.
Where have I seen Laura Dreyfuss before? Dreyfuss starred opposite fellow cast member Ben Platt in the original Broadway production of Dear Evan Hansen, and played Madison McCarthy in Glee.
Rahne Jones plays Skye Leighton
Who is Skye? Skye is another member of Payton’s campaign team. The two of them got off to a rocky start at Saint Sebastian high school, where political tensions provoked her to put rat poison in his food. She was arrested for the terrible deed but given a lenient sentence and later reconciled with Payton to become one of his closest advisers.
Where have I seen Rahne Jones before? Jones made her screen acting debut in The Politician, after leaving a career in Homeland Security.
Theo Germaine plays James
Who is James? Another of Payton’s close advisers, James hopes to follow him all the way to the White House. However, he’s high-maintenance and easily stressed out, which has put a strain on their working relationship on several occasions.
Where have I seen Theo Germaine before? Germaine is a non-binary actor, who also stars as Chris in the Showtime comedy series Work in Progress.
Lucy Boynton plays Astrid
Who is Astrid? Introduced as Payton’s bitter rival in the first season, Astrid ends up joining his campaign to become a state senator. However, she is nowhere near as committed to his cause as the others and her allegiances can sway from moment to moment.
Zoey Deutch plays Infinity
Who is Infinity? Infinity was a classmate of Payton’s at Saint Sebastian’s high school, who once believed she had terminal cancer. Shockingly, it turned out that she was cancer free and actually being poisoned by her abusive grandmother. Fortunately, season two sees her on a happier path in life, with a lucrative book deal and a huge social media following.
Where have I seen Zoey Deutch before? Star of the romcom Set It Up, young adult drama Beautiful Creatures and horror comedy Zombieland: Double Tap, Deutch has also featured in Ed Sheeran’s music video for Perfect.
David Corenswet plays River
Who is River? River is a handsome, multilingual student who attracts the adoration of several Saint Sebastian High School pupils. Unbeknown to them, he is deeply troubled and commits suicide in the first episode of The Politician, but appears throughout in flashbacks and as imaginary visions to Payton.
Where have I seen David Corenswet before? Corenswet broke out on the first season of The Politician and had a starring role in Ryan Murphy’s subsequent Netflix drama Hollywood. Prior to that, he made appearances in House of Cards, Instinct and Elementary.
The Politician season two hits Netflix on Friday 19th June. If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide.