Watch Sarah Paulson Go Deliciously Mad In Netflix's 'Ratched' Trailer

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·5 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

From ELLE

Sarah Paulson and Ryan Murphy are at it again. The frequent collaborators, who've previously teamed up for American Horror Story and American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson, are bringing Ratched to Netflix this September. According to Murphy, "It’s the performance of Sarah Paulson’s life."

The series explores the origin story of maniacal Nurse Mildred Ratched (Paulson), the villain from Ken Kesey's 1962 novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and 1975 film of the same name. From co-creator Evan Romansky, the series is set approximately 15 years before Ratched arrives to do damage at that mental institution in Oregon, per Vanity Fair.

Photo credit: Silver Screen Collection - Getty Images
Photo credit: Silver Screen Collection - Getty Images

"I feel like Nurse Ratched is sort of a shorthand for barbarism," Murphy told VF. "She became almost like a catchphrase for any sort of institutional abuse of power. What was interesting was trying to create an emotional character from a reputation that’s very cold…trying to figure out every little detail about her childhood, her relationships, her sexuality. Because when people think of Ratched, they think of her as shutoff and cruel and uncaring.”

Up until now, the project has only been teased by the entertainment maven himself. But a twisty first trailer has raised the stakes for the new show. Ahead, everything we know about Ratched, including its starry cast and the creative team's theory “that abusers are people who have been abused.”

Ratched explores the origins of the titular Nurse.

The series, one of several projects in Murphy's reportedly $300 million deal with Netflix, tracks the backstory of the titular asylum nurse. The show is inspired by Louise Fletcher's Oscar-winning performance in the Jack Nicholson-led Cuckoo's Nest and the book by Kesey.

An official description of the prequel series, per Netflix, reads:

"In 1947, Mildred arrives in Northern California to seek employment at a leading psychiatric hospital where new and unsettling experiments have begun on the human mind. On a clandestine mission, Mildred presents herself as the perfect image of what a dedicated nurse should be, but the wheels are always turning and as she begins to infiltrate the mental health care system and those within it, Mildred’s stylish exterior belies a growing darkness that has long been smoldering within, revealing that true monsters are made, not born.

Ratched is executive produced by Murphy, Paulson, Ian Brennan, Alexis Martin Woodall, Aleen Keshishian, Jacob Epstein, Jennifer Salt, Margaret Riley, Michael Douglas, Robert Mitas and Tim Minear.

Paulson leads a cast of Hollywood heavy hitters.

Paulson, who won an Emmy in 2016 for her role as Marcia Clark on American Crime Story, leads the cast. She's joined by Cynthia Nixon as political campaign manager Gwendolyn Briggs, Judy Davis as Nurse Betsy Bucket, Sharon Stone as heiress Lenore Osgood, Jon Jon Briones as experimental Dr. Richard Hanover, Finn Wittrock as murderer Edmund Tolleson, Charlie Carver as hospital staff member Huck, Alice Englert as fellow employee Dolly, Amanda Plummer as motel manager Louise, Corey Stoll as P.I. Charles Wainwright, Sophie Okonedo as potential patient Charlotte, and Vincent D’Onofrio as Gov. George Wilburn.

Photo credit: SAEED ADYANI/NETFLIX
Photo credit: SAEED ADYANI/NETFLIX
Photo credit: SAEED ADYANI/NETFLIX
Photo credit: SAEED ADYANI/NETFLIX
Photo credit: COURTESY OF NETFLIX
Photo credit: COURTESY OF NETFLIX

The first trailer teases a striking psychological portrait.

"I identified very deeply with her loneliness," Paulson revealed to Vanity Fair about playing the mercurial medical professional. "I think ultimately at the end of the day, that is sort of what drives Mildred. A pursuit of survival and of finding some sense of home. Even though the methods that she chooses to achieve that internal security are somewhat questionable, I would argue that she’s doing them with a potentially selfish need, but a survival need nevertheless. Sort of an animal need that blinds her to the inappropriateness of some her actions."

That loneliness and desperation are apparent in the show's first trailer. At one moment, Ratched appears to be a sympathetic ear, telling a patient, "You have been subjected to enough pain. But you deserve someone to show you mercy," adding, "How different I would be if someone had."

At other moments, that inner turmoil threatens to spill over onto others. A scene involving a stolen peach in the staff cafeteria is straight-up chilling, with Ratched "just thinking of all the things I'm going to do about it." Another moment in the hospital corridors hints at further menace: "Letting me into this hospital was the best decision you ever made," Ratched tells Dr. Hanover.

A second season has already been confirmed.

When the eight-episode series drops on Netflix September 18, binge-watch knowing a second season is on the way. Back in 2017, Netflix granted Ratched a two-season order, per The Hollywood Reporter. Paulson told THR that future installments of the show will lead the character closer to her form in the 1975 film version. "Ideally, by the time we’re in season 4, we’re in that story of the Cuckoo’s Nest," Paulson said.

She teased the frightening trajectory of her character while speaking to Vanity Fair, saying, “By the time you get to the end of the first season, you will not wonder how and why Mildred became the way she did. You may question her actions, you may have judgment about it—but you will understand it. It will make sense to you.”

Ratched premieres on Netflix September 18.

You Might Also Like