SEATTLE — The Politician on Netflix boasts an impressive cast including Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Lange, Bette Midler, Judith Light, and an actress from the east side of Lake Washington - Julia Schlaepfer.

"I'm so proud to rep Seattle, I love Seattle so much!" she said.

The Bellevue native started dancing with Pacific Northwest Ballet at an early age and planned on becoming a ballerina. But after a series of injuries her junior year of high school, she switched to theater.

Julia Schlaepfer The Politician
Julia Schlaepfer grew up in Bellevue, attended Lakeside High School, and credits her school drama teacher Alban Dennis with encouraging her to try acting.
KING TV

 “I went to Lakeside High School and (drama teacher) Alban Dennis is my angel,” she said. “He got me into acting and I wouldn’t be here without him.”

The Politician is Schlaepfer’s first major series role. She plays a wannabe first lady, Theo Germaine plays a teenage campaign strategist, and Zoey Deutch plays an innocent running mate. They all orbit the “politician,” played by Broadway star Ben Platt - a rich kid who feels destined to become President of the United States. 

While their interests differ, Platt does relate to his character's early ambition. He also plotted out his life at age 7.

"I really wanted to be on Broadway, I really wanted to do musical theater, I wanted to originate a role, I really wanted to win a Tony at some point in my life, and now I think it's all been about letting myself think differently and broader and think what are the other ways I can stretch myself other than what was my very literal dream when I was a little kid,” he said.

The Politician is the first Ryan Murphy series on Netflix. It's hyperkinetic and ostentatious, often feeling like a dark mash-up of Glee and Clueless. With just eight episodes, it's made for binge-watching and will keep audiences guessing until the very end.

Season One is now streaming on Netflix.

Travel and accommodations provided by Netflix.