Comedian Tom Sainsbury is leading his own political party.
The man who made his name transforming himself into leading politicians on social media will hit screens in TVNZ's new dramedy, Sextortion. He plays Conservative Unity Party, or CUP, leader Darren Bellows - a dithering, married Christian politician who enjoys bizarre fetish sessions with his local dominatrix.
In the run-up to an election, and in his first year taking over the CUP party from his angry father, the Reverend Bellows (played by Luminaries' star Mark Mitchinson), a video of some awkward bondage sessions come to light with a blackmail message.
"Darren isn't a charismatic leader in any way. He has a very low-status, self-loathing, people-pleasing sort of personality. So he's really struggling with his new power," Sainsbury tells Spy.
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"Darren's character is a very angry man who hates people outside the norm. My character is very weak-willed and does whatever his father wants of him."
The six-part series will screen OnDemand. It also features Fresh Eggs' star Cohen Holloway as Bellows' political nemesis, Shayne Bubbler, and Shortland Street star Natalie Medlock as Bellows' wife Belinda.
Sainsbury describes his new show as a comedy of errors and an awkward coming of age story.
"Think Curb your Enthusiasm set in the Westboro Baptist Church," he says.
"It's a really gripping watch with a bit of whodunnit vibe. I think people will be intrigued, trying to work it all out and they'll also get some big laughs out of the hapless heroes."
One real-life MP in particular will be keen to watch. Sainsbury says to get into character he wore insipid greys and browns - and when doing the publicity photoshoot he channelled Act MP David Seymour.