‘Ratched’: Sarah Paulson Gives a Hint at Mildred’s ‘Ultimate End Goal’
How did one of the 20th century’s most iconic villains become so, well, villainous? American Horror Story cocreator Ryan Murphy puts his singular stamp on Mildred Ratched, the sadistic nurse from the 1962 novel and 1975 movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
In this eight-part thriller set in 1947, she’s a young woman, played by Sarah Paulson, worming her way into a job at Lucia State mental hospital near the California coast. Paulson (above center) doses out some more details.
Does Mildred have a plan when she gets to Lucia, or is she making things up as she goes along?
Sarah Paulson: She absolutely has a plan…in terms of her ultimate end goal, which is to be reunited with someone she loves very much. After that, she’s not quite sure what will happen.
The film was set in Oregon, but the show is in California. Why?
Location was exceedingly important to Ryan, probably for what it evokes: the visuals and the cliffsides and how quickly you can fall off the edge of a cliff.
Louise Fletcher won an Oscar for playing Ratched in Cuckoo’s Nest. What are the pluses and minuses in taking on a role originated by someone else?
The enormous plus is that I had the great good fortune of watching one of, I think, the most masterful performances in cinematic history. It’s really remarkable. [Laughs] No pressure or anything!
Ratched, Friday, Sept. 18, Netflix