A Tony and Grammy Award winner known for originating the title role of Broadway smash Dear Evan Hansen, Ben Platt earned his first Golden Globe nomination this morning, for his turn in Netflix original comedy series The Politician.
“To be in the conversation is just really amazing,” Platt told Deadline today. “I love the show we made, and the Politician family we made, so the fact that we all have an excuse to get fancy and hang out together is the best part.”
Created by Ian Brennan, Brad Falchuk and Ryan Murphy, The Politician centers on Payton Hobart (Platt), a Santa Barbara student who knew since age seven that he would wind up as President of the United States, but who first has to navigate the treacherous political landscape of Saint Sebastian High School.
For Broadway star Platt, who is currently in New York shooting The Politician’s second season, the series was undeniable from the get-go, given the opportunity it offered to learn firsthand from TV titan Murphy. “As someone coming from the theater into the world of TV, looking for a crash course, Ryan Murphy is kind of the ultimate teacher. I feel like I have a lot more comfortability and understanding of TV, as a medium, than I did going in,” Platt explained. “I think that sometimes, I have a real fear of spontaneity, as an actor. In the theater, you’re getting such safe opportunities to experiment in a rehearsal setting, and you’re able to work out all of those impulses before you’re creating what you’re ultimately creating. Whereas Ryan is a big believer in arriving, on the day, living in the present moment, and seeing what happens.”
“I think getting into that, and learning from his openness to all bold choices, and all kind of crazy choices, is what ultimately made the show successful, made the performance possible,” the actor added, “and I hope to keep that with me going forward, particularly for things that are on camera.”
As for Season 2, Platt shares, “we’re already on Episode 3, and it’s really matured a little bit. The show…has jumped forward a few years, so we’re all playing a lot closer to our own ages. As someone who’s continually back in high school, it’s a very nice change of pace. It’s a little bit more adult, I think, in tone, and there’s a bit more of an East Coast shadow over the whole thing, which I love. Because I get to work at home, and sleep in my own bed.”
In the new season of The Politician, he continues, cast members Bette Midler and Judith Light will take center stage, “which is something I’m very excited for everyone to see. I get to go toe-to-toe with Judith quite a bit.”
While the series’ second go-round is taking up most of the actor’s time at present, he’s hopeful that a film adaptation of Dear Evan Hansen will happen in the near future, having acquired the film rights to the musical last year alongside his father, producer Marc Platt.
Additionally, Platt is in the early stages on Merrily We Roll Along, Richard Linklater’s adaptation of a classic Stephen Sondheim musical, which will be filmed over the course of the next 20 years, in the vein of the director’s 12-year passion project, Boyhood. “We are in the midst of that very long concept. It’s very early, but that’s with Beanie [Feldstein], my best friend, who I’m about to go meet for lunch,” the actor shares. “Because we both were [Golden Globe] nominated [for the first time] together.”
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