Sarah Paulson: People have to root for Ratched even though she’s sometimes downright menacing

By: Entertainment Desk | New Delhi |

September 15, 2020 8:31:35 pm

Sarah Paulson in a still from Netflix series Ratched. (Photo: Netflix)

Sarah Paulson is eagerly awaiting the release of Netflix series Ratched, where she will be seen portraying the titular character – Mildred Ratched. A spin-off of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Ratched will tell the tale of the iconic and evil nurse Mildred Ratched who was first introduced in the Oscar-winning 1975 movie.

While in the film, Ratched is portrayed as someone who is a dark person with negative motivations, the show will delve deeper into her psyche and perhaps offer an insight into how she became the person we had seen in the movie years ago. But then the question arises, ‘how do you ground such an obviously evil individual with your performance?’

Sarah Paulson said in a statement, “In the story as it’s told in the film (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest), there was so much to love about Jack Nicholson and all of the men in that ward. You wanted to spend time with them, you root for them, you want them to thrive, and Ratched kept showing up and to the audience’s eye, impedes their opportunity for joy. I believe now, that what she was ultimately doing, was trying her damnedest to provide them with some help. She may have been limited in her thinking and adhering too stringently to the rules of that hospital, but she was trying to do what she believed to be right. It lacked humanity and that’s a really hard thing to watch, particularly when you have come to love those characters she’s in charge of. It was interesting to keep all that in my mind — who she becomes down the road. As our story predates the movie by many many years, it turns out that in our story, she’s capable of far more than you might’ve imagined.”

However, despite a certain level of unravelling which will take place in the series, Paulson still feels that the audience will have a hard time putting a label onto ‘Mildred Ratched the person.’


sarah paulson Ratched is created by Ryan Murphy and Evan Romansky. (Photo: Netflix)

“She’s a work in progress. She had a very traumatic childhood. She had been abandoned at a young age and had lost contact with the most impactful person in her life. The most fundamentally defining quality about her is that she is profoundly lonely. If people were to feel sympathetic towards her, once they have context and an understanding of what she’s been through, and endured, that wouldn’t be the worst thing. They’ve got to want her to get what she wants a little bit. I think they have to root for her even though sometimes what she’s doing is self-serving and sometimes downright menacing. She has her reasons. I think as an actor your job is simply to be committed to those reasons,” Sarah Paulson concluded.

Ratched will start streaming on Netflix from September 18.

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