After months of buildup for the newest Ryan Murphy project, The Politician is finally here. If you've seen the new Netflix series, you know it has lived up to the hype, especially the excitement surrounding the star-studded cast, which includes Ben Platt, Zoey Deutch, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Lange, Judith Light, and so many more national treasures. However, there's another, lesser-known actor on the show who is drumming up a ton of interest thanks to his lovable character and dreamboat good looks. So, who plays River in The Politician? You're going to want to have David Corenswet on your radar.
Spoiler alert: This post contains spoilers for Season 1 of The Politician. The show's first episode opened with what viewers were likely expecting to be a season-long rivalry between protagonist Payton (Platt) and popular guy River (Corenswet) over the title of class president of their high school. Right off the bat, Payton revealed he had big plans to become president of the United States, and being class president was a necessary step to get to that goal. So when his tutor-turned-friend (and quasi-lover) River stepped up to run against him, it was a major blow to Payton.
However, fans were in for a classic Murphy twist when River died by suicide in the first episode. Luckily, though, he returned as an apparition seen only by Payton (and the audience, of course) throughout the season, providing the conflicted candidate with his much-needed calm, centering words of wisdom.
Any moment River appeared in a scene felt like another win for The Politician, and fans are already enamored with not only the character, but with Corenswet, as well. Though he may be a new face to many, The Politician actually isn't his first role. In fact, it's not even his first (or second) political role; he starred as a campaign aide in the 2018 thriller film Affairs of State, and he also had a small role in an episode of Netflix's House of Cards, playing Claire's (Robin Wright) college boyfriend Reed.
According to an interview with V Magazine, show business runs in Corenswet's family. His father was a stage actor, and even his childhood pets were named after two Hollywood superstars: Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. After years of acting in various theater productions, Corenswet studied at the prestigious Juilliard School, and showed off his funny side with a web series called Moe & Jerryweather.
The Politician has already been given the green light for a second season, but while there's no word yet on whether Corenswet will reprise his role as River in Season 2 (fingers crossed), fans should still expect to see him again sometime soon. On Sept. 25, it was announced that the actor will star in — and executive produce — another upcoming Ryan Murphy series for Netflix called Hollywood.
To be totally honest, I'm kind of shocked Corenswet has sort of flown under the radar for as long as he has. However, now that he's here, it's pretty clear he's going nowhere but up.
Season 1 of The Politician is on Netflix now.