Ryan Murphy's first project to hit Netflix is a campy comedy that reunites Glee's creative team with some bigger-than-ever star power in front of the camera, too. But Murphy has also brought some new faces into the fold, and among them is Julia Schlaepfer, who plays Alice on The Politician. Alice Charles is the girlfriend of Payton Hobart (Ben Platt), the ruthlessly ambitious high school student at the center of the story who has aspirations of running for President of the United States some day. But first, he has to win the race for St. Sebastian High School's senior class president.
Alice, along with his other best friends, McAfee and James, serves on Payton's campaign team, and the trio is determined to ferry him all the way to the top. Given how loudly Alice's expensive, impeccable style screams "FLOTUS!" I'm guessing she has her own plans as First Lady. The Politician is Schlaepfer's first ever series regular role after appearing in episodes of Madame Secretary in 2017 and CBS' Instinct in 2018. But Who What Wear named her on its list of five newcomers who will make it big this fall, so she's poised to jettison into stardom with this breakout role.
In her interview with Who What Wear, Schlaepfer gushed about her experience on the show, and admitted that she's actually most excited for Season 2, when Judith Light and Bette Midler will join the cast as regulars. Said Schlaepfer:
Working on a Ryan Murphy production is an absolute dream come true. Glee was a religion in my household growing up. Every week, for that one hour, my entire family would put everything on hold to watch it together. My best friend and I even dressed up as Quinn and Rachel for Halloween one year! I have been captivated by the magic of Ryan’s shows for as long as I can remember. So I think I will be pinching myself for the rest of my life that I get to wake up every day and do this for a living!
She describes Alice as "a young, brilliant Hillary Clinton with a dash of Margot Tenenbaum," and from the looks of the show's trailer (and early reviews), there's a definite Wes Anderson vibe in the visual styling of the series. Payton and his mom (played by Gwyneth Paltrow) are fabulously wealthy residents of Santa Barbara, so preppy-to-the-point-of-high-camp-absurdity garments abound. (Schlaepfer revealed that Alice's "signature look" is ivory Gucci loafers, which seems like a very chill fashion choice for a senior in high school.)
Apart from Paltrow, The Politician also features some other Murphy favorites, like Jessica Lange as the mother of Payton's disgraced running mate Infinity Jackson. January Jones is also set to appear in nine episodes, according to W Magazine, and various historical political figures will pop up throughout the series. Ted Kennedy, Thomas Eagleton, and Walter Mondale are among the real-life people portrayed in the show, which suggests some signature Murphy fever dream sequences. Needless to say, The Politician appears to be a return to the showrunner's roots, which Glee fans would welcome with open arms.
The Politician is currently streaming on Netflix.