Lucy Boynton: Talking Politics With The Star Of The Politician

The actress talks to LouisvuittonShop UK about the Netflix series, Bohemian Rhapsody, Donald Trump and Brexit

If Lucy Boynton were President for a day, the first thing she would do is undo 'everything that Trump has done that infringes upon people's freedoms.'

As for who should be president right now, she suggests Michelle Obama, immediately.

If she were running for president, her inner circle would comprise of her sister, who taught Boynton what it is to be a woman and a feminist; someone who disagrees with her politically, for balance - though she can't quite think of anyone in politics right now that she'd want alongside her - and, again, Mrs Obama would be her running mate.

'If it ain't broke...' she jokes. 'Stick with the strong team!'

Boynton is talking politics with LouisvuittonShop UK in a Soho hotel room ahead of the release of her new Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk (Glee, American Horror Story, Pose etc) Netflix dramedy The Politician, which boasts an impressive cast including Gwyneth Paltrow (who happens to be married to Falchuk) and Mad Men's January Jones.

Set in an American High School, the show centres around Payton Hobart - played excellently by Pitch Perfect's Ben Platt - who has had presidential ambitions since childhood and is running for student body president. A move that is part of his meticulously planned path (which later will include a Harvard university place) to the Oval office.

Lucy Boynton The Politician netflix
With Platt on The Politician’s press day in June
Emma McIntyreGetty Images

However, in his attempts, Payton comes up against the callous, ruthless, self-absorbed and hyperbolically privileged rival Astrid - played by Boynton.

It's a frank departure from what we've seen the 25-year-old do before - for example, as Freddie Mercury's devoted partner Mary Austin in Bohemian Rhapsody - and Boynton drew on examples from school life to find her character.

'Thankfully, I was nothing like Astrid in school,' she tells us. 'I was scared of girls like her and I still find that behaviour baffling and intimidating. But exploring Astrid allowed me to understand - what all our mothers always tell us - that it’s always insecurity and something else going on, to make someone that unkind.

'Having gone to an all girls school and, surprisingly, even now as an adult you come across people with Astrid energy.'

The Politician Netflix
Netflix

Though there are comedic and absurd elements to some of the high school scenes, The Politician also addresses real issues like gun violence, racism and privilege.

'I'm most excited about the conversations the show starts and continues,' Boynton says. 'A lot of them we're having in our political systems worldwide and I'm excited for that to be coming from the point of view of young people too.

'We've addressed so many polarising topics, especially within the US, like gun control. It seems to be in the news every week and The Politician presents it in a very personal way, hopefully this empathetic light will encourage conversation.'

Lucy Boynton Rahne Jones The Politician Netflix
Netflix

Besides gun control, Boynton has a lot of thoughts when it comes to the the post-2016 political and social climate we're living in right now.

'It came to light within the States and UK - with Trump and Brexit - that attitudes seems to have changed so abruptly, but obviously they didn’t. There are increasing attitudes of exclusivity and division, that I hadn’t been so aware of in our politics before, but obviously it’s been under the surface the entire time so that’s a bit embarrassing to admit but I wasn't aware of it.

'But, as we have seen repeated throughout history, it never works out positively for anyone.'

Boynton admits to regularly feeling overwhelmed by the constant bombardment of horrifying news and turmoil politics, but is trying to become more emotionally detached.

'I used to be very reactionary, especially post-Trump and post-Brexit and was shocked that we weren't all more closely aligned and on the same page,' she explains. 'Now, I'm trying to be better at listening and understanding.

'I'm very much an emotionally-led person, I feel I was born with one less layer of skin so I find the news very overwhelming and scary. I'm sure every generation has felt like something is the end of the world so this is just our version of that but, yeah, I'm trying to detach.'

What would she do if she had access to the White House for a night (if Trump wasn't there, might we add)? Boynton would throw a huge party with a fusion of her two loves: the cast of The Politician with the cast of Bohemian Rhapsody.

It's clear she still can't quite get her head around Rhapsody's impact. They're all still super close, sharing a WhatsApp group chat, and Boynton has found love with ultimate Freddie Mercury tribute artist, Rami Malek - who she praises for bringing everyone together during and after filming.

'Rami made sure everyone was always together,' she says of their camaraderie during Awards Season - where the cast sat front row at the Oscars. 'Sometimes these situations are political and you just bring whoever is necessary, whereas Rami’s priority was everyone all together for everything.'

Lucy Boynton Screen Actors Guild Awards
Axelle/Bauer-GriffinGetty Images

Garnering a reputation for standout, high-fashion dresses and beauty looks during the whirlwind two months of awards season, Boynton says the clashing print Erdem gown she wore at the SAG awards is her favourite red carpet moment, along with the custom-made purple Rodarte gown she collaborated on with the designer siblings for the Academy Awards.

The actor's favourite memory of that time was the night after the Golden Globes - the first show to kick off the season: 'It was still funny and ridiculous, it was our first time together for, well probably only a few weeks, but it felt like everything was coming up and we had so many months to look forward to.'

Of course, the awards run culminated with Malek winning a Best Actor Oscar, she jumps in: 'Yeah I should probably say that was my favourite moment, whoops, so disloyal,' she jokes.

91st Annual Academy Awards - Lucy Boynton
Steve GranitzGetty Images

'Just the fact that I can talk about what being in the Oscars is like is a bizarre thing to me, especially where we were sitting, it's such a trip. The whole awards and rewards thing is kind of strange, especially when you’re measuring creativity, but it was really powerful to know that he [Malek] was winning for, what I would say, is the tip of the iceberg for what he actually did on that film.

'He was such a leader while also giving that brilliant performance. It made the Oscars easier to digest, as much as the Oscars could possibly be,' she says smiling.

'I’m still trying to replay and process it, I think it will be a while before it sinks in as something that's normal or ok. That’s kind of the best way to deal with it, right?'

We can only imagine. An0ther thing we can very much imagine? That 2019 ceremony being the first of many Oscars for Boynton.

The Politician comes to Netflix Friday 27 September.


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