While The Politician isn't a full-on musical like Ryan Murphy's past high school-set series Glee, it still delivers a handful of totally knockout musical moments. I mean, you can't just cast Tony-winning actor-singer Ben Platt as your lead and not have him sing! But Platt is not the only one to show off his vocal talents in the first season of The Politician; Zoey Deutch surprised a lot of viewers by singing as her character Infinity Jackson. Since Deutch isn't really known as a singer, you might be curious: Does Zoey Deutch actually sing in The Politician? There's a story behind her big song.
Spoiler alert: This post contains light spoilers from throughout the first season of The Politician. While Platt's character of Payton Hobart very clearly only has one goal in mind — to become President of the United States — The Politician also shows he has a natural talent for music. In the pilot, Payton sang an emotional cover of Joni Mitchell's "River" at the memorial of his close friend River, and in the season finale, he played piano while covering Billy Joel's "Vienna" at a New York bar.
Later in the season, it was revealed Payton wasn't the only character with musical talent. Payton Infinity belted out the duet "Unworthy of Your Love" during a dress rehearsal for their school's production of Assassins. In case you weren't familiar, Assassins is a 1990 musical from Stephen Sondheim that turns the spotlight on infamous men and women who assassinated or attempted to assassinate a president. For the school's production, Payton was cast as John Hinckley Jr. and Infinity got the part of Squeaky Fromme, which is the perfect set-up for the big duet, in which Hinckley Jr. and Fromme sing of their reckless devotion to Jodie Foster and Charles Manson, respectively.
Although fans may have already been familiar with Deutch as an actress thanks to her starring roles in movies like Set It Up and Everybody Wants Some!!, this is most likely the first time audiences have heard her sing — and yes, it really is her voice on the show. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Deutch noted that she comes from a musical family: Her mother Lea Thompson has shown off her vocal talents several times throughout her acting career, and her older sister Madelyn Deutch is a singer, songwriter, and composer. However, the prevalence of music in her family life originally caused her to shy away from ever pursuing it.
Deutch credited The Politician co-creator Ryan Murphy for giving her the opportunity to overcome her nerves and embrace her own big musical moment.
I’m really so grateful to Ryan. One of the things that is often said about him is he discovers people, but I interpret that as he believes in people before they believe in themselves ... He gave me the opportunity to sing even though I was nervous and I was intimidated and I had to work through some stuff internally. I was so grateful for the opportunity, and he believed in me before I believe in myself. It’s such, such an amazing gift for a creator and a writer to provide that space.
Hopefully, fans will be treated to even more musical numbers when The Politician returns for its second season. Netflix has already picked up Season 2 of the show, but it is not yet clear when it is slated to premiere.