The Politician's Munchausen plot was not inspired by The Act says Jessica Lange

1 October 2019, 22:57

Nicky Idika

By Nicky Idika

Fans may have clocked similarities between The Act's Munchausen by Proxy story and The Politician's Dusty and Infinity dynamic. Both Zoey Deutch and Jessica Lange say that their performances were not inspired by the popular Hulu series.

Netflix's The Politician stars Ben Platt as student presidential candidate Payton Hobart. The Ryan Murphy series skillfully uses the drama in a high school election as a stand-in for commentary on the cynicism of real-world election scandals. One such scandal in the series involves a Munchausen by Proxy plot where Zoey Deutch's character, Infinity, falsely believes she has cancer.

Both Zoey Deutch and Jessica Lange, who plays Infinity's grandmother, Dusty, have clarified that the Munchausen by Proxy storyline was not inspired by The Act or the real-life case that the Hulu series is based on.

READ MORE: Jessica Lange says she won't return to American Horror Story ever again

Dusty and Infinity
Dusty and Infinity. Picture: Netflix

One might be forgiven for thinking The Politician borrowed from another popular show released earlier this year. Hulu's Emmy nominated series, The Act, had audiences hooked with its dramatised re-telling of the tragic case of Dee Dee and Gypsy Rose Blanchard. The real Gypsy Rose Blanchard is currently serving prison time for her involvement in the killing of her mother, Dee Dee, who was believed to have Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy.

The syndrome often manifests itself in caretakers overstating or even faking the symptoms of people in their charge in order to gain attention or notoriety for themselves.

The psychological condition gets named checked on The Politician when it is revealed that Infinity's blood has no traces of cancer cells, despite their whole community believing she suffers from a form of the disease.

Truthfully, if you've seen The Act, the dynamic between The Politician's Dusty and Infinity might feel familiar, but the two stars insist that isn't because their performances were inspired by the series.


Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, both Jessica Lange and Zoey Deutch said the show's Munchausen storyline hadn't been inspired by the popular Hulu show.

"The one thing that's similar is the Munchausen by proxy element," Deutch told the publication.

"But at its core, it's very different because Infinity really believes that she is what she's told she is. And she believes that because she has to. She's doing what she has to to survive."

The Politician has been renewed for season 2 at Netflix and we'll no doubt learn more about how Infinity's difficult upbringing has affected her.

What do you guys think? Did the Munchausen storyline remind you of The Act?