'The Politician' Cast on Working With Hollywood Vets Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Lange and More

Ben Platt, Zoey Deutch and more stars of Ryan Murphy's new satirical Netflix series open up to The Hollywood Reporter about sharing screen time with some of their acting idols.

For his new Netflix dramedy The Politician, Ryan Murphy assembled an all-star cast that includes notable names such as Ben Platt, Zoey Deutch and Laura Dreyfuss. But the power producer — who co-created the series with Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan — also wrangled several Hollywood A-listers to take part in the project: Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Lange, Bette Midler and Judith Light, among others.

During an interview with The Hollywood Reporter In Studio, The Politician's young talent opened up about sharing screen time with some of their acting idols.

Platt plays Payton Hobart, a high school senior determined to become student body president — the first step in his scrupulously thought-out plan to one day assume control of the Oval Office. Paltrow plays his mother and dedicated supporter, Georgina Hobart.

"Like much of the world, I had a very larger-than-life image of Gwyneth. She's like Margot Tenenbaum, she's Goop, she's all these things," Platt said of the Oscar winner and lifestyle guru. "But to get to connect with her on an intimate level and see how sort of warm she is and how immediately maternal and protective she became towards me, and how she really tried to connect with me and make those moments between Payton and his mother feel as lived-in and honest as possible — it was really important to the greater scheme of the show — was really wonderful and such a treat."

Deutch got to film plenty of scenes with industry vet Lange, who has won multiple Oscars and Emmys throughout her decades-long career. In The Politician, Lange plays Dusty Jackson, the grandmother of Deutch's Infinity Jackson, who is led to believe she is sick with cancer because of Dusty's Munchausen by proxy syndrome. Though their storyline sounds dark, Deutch told THR that exchanging lines with Lange was sometimes difficult because of all the laughter on set.

"Jessica is as magical as I expected her to be," said Deutch. "And the thing that I didn't know or expect was how funny she is, to the point of uncontrollable laughter, to the point where scenes didn't make it in the show because there were certain people that couldn't stop laughing."

For her part, Glee alum Dreyfuss — who plays Payton's good friend and campaign manager McAfee Westbrook — had the chance to work with Midler and Light, who appear at the tail end of The Politician's first season. Of Midler, Dreyfuss noted her "energy when she walks into the room."

"Everybody stops what they're doing and just stands a little straighter, and stops breathing a little," Dreyfuss joked. "No, it was really incredible just to witness the confidence that these women have. I look up to that a lot because you can really affect a room and you can make people feel a certain way, and they just choose to own their power and their presence and that's a really special thing to witness."

For more from the cast of The Politician — including Lucy Boynton, Julia Schlaepfer, Theo Germaine and Rahne Jones, who also chatted with THR In Studio — watch the video above.

The Politician is now available to stream on Netflix.