Ryan Murphy has politics on the brain.
Not only is he getting ready to see the launch of his new Netflix series “The Politician” in September, but he’s keeping an eye on the 2020 election. He’s already hosted a fundraiser at his home for Sen. Kamala Harris.
“My dream ticket would be Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg,” he told Variety at a screening of “The Politician” on Tuesday night at San Vicente Bungalows in West Hollywood. “I would be very excited by that.”
He’s also hopeful that President Donald Trump will lose his bid for a second term.
“I always bet on the idea of hope,” Murphy said. “I do feel hopeful and I think this show has that optimism in it, which I guess is why we wrote it.”
To be clear, “The Politician” is a dark comedy. Ben Platt stars as a rich high school senior who has believed since childhood that he is destined to become the president of the United States. He portrays a ruthless candidate who seemingly will do anything to win.
Gwyneth Paltrow plays his mom, a Santa Barbara socialite who helps talk her son off emotional ledges while always impeccably dressed and accessorized.
“Part of the thing with Gwyneth is I’ve known her a very long time…She did not want to work unless she was having fun,” Murphy said. “She liked the idea of the humanity and the comedy of that character. So the idea that she would be wearing a ball gown while cutting roses on her Santa Barbara estate, she was instantly like, ‘OK, I love that.’ She was very involved with her look.”
Paltrow’s husband, Brad Falchuk, is a co-creator of the series as is Ian Brennan.
Murphy says he first approached Platt to have dinner “just to pick his brain” after seeing his Tony-winning performance in “Dear Evan Hansen.”
“When he came to see me and he said he’d love to work with me, I thought, ‘Oh, he’ll let me do something on “American Horror Story” or be a guest on something. But instead, he said, ‘We’re going to build this whole show around this character,’” Platt recalled. “I was terrified. I think he had a lot more confidence in me before I even had it in myself.”
And get ready to see Platt shed a lot of tears, whether they’re real or being used to manipulate his classmates is deliciously unclear. “Ben is one of the greatest criers of all time,” Murphy said.
The eight-episode series has been picked up for a second season, but Murphy already has several more seasons mapped out. “Every season is a political race in this kid’s life so he’s going to go from 18 to 38,” Murphy said.
The launch of a non-partisan voter registration drive fronted by Platt and his co-stars, including Lucy Boynton, Zoey Deutch and David Corenswet, will coincide with the show’s premiere. Murphy said, “We just want people to get involved.”