The Politician, Ryan Murphy‘s anticipated first Netflix series, stars Ben Platt as Payton Hobart, an aspiring Santa Barbara teen who dreams of getting into Harvard and landing not just any job, but the job, at the White House. But as much as the show evidently focuses on Platt’s character, it is Gwyneth Paltrow‘s character—Payton’s adoptive mother Georgina—who takes on the role of skewering generational wealth and entitlement in a seemingly self-aware parody of Paltrow herself.
According to a first look at The Politician in The Hollywood Reporter, the series aims to satirize rich people problems. Inspired in part by Jared Kushner’s journey to Harvard, the writers and producers of the show somehow also “predicted” the Operation Varsity Blues college admissions scandal. Paltrow told THR that producer Brad Falchuk, her “very progressive” husband who wrote the character of Georgina, “really doesn’t believe in accruing generational wealth like that … because he feels like it keeps this vast difference between segments of the population.”
Falchuk reportedly told Paltrow that she was his “muse” for the character of Georgina, and according to THR, the production schedule was often re-worked to align with Paltrow’s schedule as Goop CEO. She has also been named executive producer of The Politician, and though she mostly stuck to the scripts that Falchuk and Murphy had written, Falchuk reveals that Paltrow would occasionally request to make small changes when it came to bits of dialog. “She would come to me with, ‘This is killing me; please don’t make me say all this,'” he said.
Paltrow—a descendent of Hollywood royalty who needed to be persuaded to take the role—has been chided for seeming out of touch with reality. Take, for example, her aspirational luxury brand Goop and the virtues of a very specific type of wellness it extolls, or the recent exchange that made headlines in which she took ownership for popularizing yoga for the masses, the fact that she popularized the term “unconscious coupling,” or even the fact that she didn’t realize she was in Spiderman: Homecoming nor did she recognize her co-star Tom Holland. Sure this all might make it seem like the multi-hyphenate is a symbol of aloof elitism, but she does have a sense of humor.
However, in the show Paltrow’s character makes her debut wearing “an emerald caftan and $10 million worth of jewelry,” and says, “This negative energy is not good for your father’s healing,” a line which, one could imagine might have come directly from the actress’s mouth in real life. She probably wouldn’t take a role written by her husband if she didn’t believe she could have some fun with it. Taken at face value, it could seem that Paltrow has no idea what goes on with the average plebe, but give her some credit: if this new role is any indicator, she is likely more self aware than one might think.