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EKC PR client, Natasha Ofili – star of Ryan Murphy’s “The Politician” on Netflix, featured in O, The Oprah Magazine

Our client, the lovely and talented Deaf actress, Natasha Ofili, who is currently starring in Ryan Murphy’s new Netflix series The Politician, was praised by O, The Oprah Magazine. They announced that Natasha “commands every scene she’s in” playing Payton Hobart’s no-nonsense principal Karen Vaughn, a woman losing her patience with her privileged students.

Check out the full article below!

Natasha Ofili Is the Principal in The Politician—and She’s Breaking Barriers for Deaf Actors

We can’t get enough of her at Saint Sebastian High School.

  • Netflix’s The Politician officially began streaming its first season on September 25.
  • Amongst a host of fresh faces in the cast is newcomer Natasha Ofili, who plays the role of Payton’s disgruntled principle.
  • Brush up on her career below, and while you’re at it, learn the backstory behind that epic “River” song from the first episode.

If The Politician is your latest Netflix obsession, then you’re not alone. The show is quintessential Ryan Murphy, with amazing music, off-beat teens that take life a little too seriously, pop-color imagery, and Jessica Lange. What more could you ask for?

But while there are plenty of seasoned actors and actresses that we can’t get enough of (looking at you, Ben Platt and Gwyneth Paltrow), there’s also a host of newcomers that manage to steal the screen. One is charismatic and easy-on-the-eyes David Corenswet (River). But another? Natasha Ofili, who plays Payton’s no-nonsense principal, a woman clearly losing her patience with her privileged students. And though Ofili is only in four episodes in the entire season of The Politician, you can’t help but notice she commands every scene she’s in.

Time to get familiar with this Hollywood newcomer? We think so.

The Politician is Natasha Ofili’s first television role.

Initially a fashion designer, Ofili officially began to pursue acting five years ago.

“For me it’s like art, like fashion is art,” she said in a 2014 interview with VOA news. “When I got into acting it was very emotional—the story connecting to the character. It drew me into it.”

If you take a look at the actress’s IMDB account, she has already been in a handful of short films, theater productions, and commercials. But as she says in her Instagram, her part as the high school principal on The Politician will be her television debut. She’s also set to appear in Amazon Prime’s Undone.

She’s a proud advocate for—and member of—the Deaf community.

Ofili, who lost her hearing when she was 18 months old, is a member of the National Black Deaf Advocates association. She has opened up about her experience on Instagram, while also pushing for the representation of deaf entertainers in film and theater, and for the support of deaf and hard of hearing children.

“My goal is to become successful and break down barriers for others and future generations,” she captioned a post from April. “This uncomfortable truth journey has been difficult, especially as a POC Deaf Woman, where very few of us get the recognition we deserve. Regardless, I keep on trucking. I remind myself to appreciate my being, those who support me, and continue being the light for myself and others. I will break down the barriers, no matter how difficult it will be.”

And though Ofili’s casting in The Politician—along with Lauren Ridloff scoring a role in Marvel film The Eternalsis a definite step in the right direction for the community, increased visibility is still needed.

Model and Winner of Dancing with the Stars Nyle DiMarco opened up to about the disparity in Hollywood when it comes to Deaf representation.

“We’ve seen a lot more deaf talent over the last four years, myself included, and yet we’re still seeing this problem continue in 2019,” he said. “The conversation seems to always link back to diversity and inclusion, specifically surrounding race and gender, but disability as being a part of diversity seems to take a backseat.”

Ofili is a newlywed.

She married her husband, Matt Reinig, this past February. Through his website Well-Being With Matt, he advocates for the importance of zen, mindfulness, and meditation. Specifically, he creates videos in American Sign Language (ASL), making meditation practices more accessible to the deaf community.

“Mindfulness is not limited to the ear (auditory)—that is what I discovered and want to share with all of you,” he says.

And in an Instagram post dedicated to her husband, Ofili wrote, “Thank you for being my cheerleader, my support system, and running my lines with me… I had a moment of stillness before my next shot and I just smiled big. And I embraced my happiness and the support that I have from Matt.”




To read the article on the O, The Oprah Magazine website, click here.


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