David Packard Corenswet (born July 8, 1993) is an American actor best known for his roles as River Barkley in the Netflix series The Politician (created by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Ian Brennan), and as Jack Castello in Hollywood.
Life and career
Corenswet was raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His father, who was from a prominent Jewish family in New Orleans, worked as a stage actor in New York City for many years before becoming a lawyer; his mother is a lawyer, mediator, and author. He has a sister, Amy.
Corenswet's maternal grandfather is Edward Packard, creator of the “Choose Your Own Adventure” book concept and author of more than 50 books in the series. His maternal grandmother was a prominent Quaker activist.
As a child actor, Corenswet appeared in the Arden Theatre Company's 2002 production of Arthur Miller's All My Sons, the Walnut Street Theatre Company's 2003 production of La Vie En Bleu, and the People's Light and Theatre Company's 2004 production of Forgiving Harvest: A Play in Two Acts by Y York.
His first film role was in Following Chase (2011), a Crossbow Studio production for which he also wrote the screenplay.
Corenswet attended the Juilliard School in New York City, from which he received a bachelor of fine arts in drama in 2016. (He had applied and been accepted to Juilliard while a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania.)
On The Politician, he portrays River Barkley, the lover and high-school political rival of Payton Hobart (Ben Platt). Vanity Fair magazine describes River as “the wealthy, sporty, straight-A student who is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and dates the prettiest and most popular girl...in school. But while his life looks perfect from the outside, he's also battling inner demons...." Corenswet had to learn Mandarin Chinese for the role.
Corenswet portrays Jack Castello in Hollywood, a 2020 Netflix limited series created by Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan, about the post-World-War-II film business in Los Angeles. He stars alongside Patti Lupone, Dylan McDermott, Darren Criss, and Holland Taylor.
In 2018, Corenswet starred as Michael Lawson in Affairs of State, which streamed on Amazon Prime Video. Lawson was described by the Los Angeles Times as "an ambitious but cash-strapped politico." The film also stars Thora Birch, Mimi Rogers, and Adrien Grenier. Forbes.com said of his performance in the role that he "has the right star-making combination of traditional good looks and a compelling deadpan voice that keeps you guessing; for good or ill, he's reminiscent of a younger Armie Hammer.
Corenswet has appeared on House of Cards as the college flame of Robin Wright's character, Claire Underwood, as well as on Elementary and Instinct.