Punctuality is everything. At exactly 1pm a virtual press conference began online to promote Netflix’s upcoming Ryan Murphy series RATCHED. Diving deep into the origin story of Nurse RATCHED, the iconic “Villain” from the classic “One flew over the cuckoo’s nest” is portrayed by Murphy regular Sarah Paulson. The first season dives into the titular character’s arrival as a nurse and the defining moments that formed an iconic caregiver.
Moderator Kelley Carter was joined on screen by the stars of the series including Finn Wittrock, Sarah Paulson, Cynthia Nixon, Judy Davis, Sharon Stone, Jon Jon Briones, and Sophie Okonedo, all of whom “Zoom” in from their respective homes around the globe.
As the discussion about the new show began Wittrock pointed out that Murphy seemed to be even more meticulous than he usually was. Wittrock who portrays Edmund Tolleson in the series, has plenty of experience with the prolific producer’s work. Having been involved in several seasons of American Horror Story including FREAK SHOW and 1984, the actor explained that Executive Producer Murphy took a lot of time with the details.
The details, however, were not the focus. “He kept telling me, ‘Step into your power, Step into your power.’ recalls titular star and executive producer Sarah Paulson. The focus of RATCHED was not only to tell the origin story of a memorable caregiver, but to empower marginalized artists and creators. Co-star Sharon Stone who portrays monkey-toting Lenore Osgood explained that she had to get used to the non-linear nature of TV work, and the collaborative nature. Stone explained that when she arrived on-scene, had she shared her thoughts on a scene she would have been summoned to the Studio Head’s office. Stone continues, “To come to work and there’s women in every department and to get to work with all of these actresses..” was a privilege.
Exploring the character of Nurse Ratched was not without its uncertainty. “I wanted to know who Ratched was when she was home behind closed doors. I wanted to stay away from caricature.” explains star and series EP Paulson. A difficult yet honorable endeavor as envisioned by the producers and series creator Evan Romansky.
When approached about being in a Ryan Murphy series, Oscar-nominated actor Sharon Stone explained, “When I heard that Ryan had a part for me I was excited because he is so brilliant. Then as I started to look at the character I liked that there were so many vagaries about her. Why is she this kind of person? What kind of back story leads someone to be this thing.” What ‘THING’? Watch the series to find out.
Yes, this is a series. There is a SECOND SEASON is coming. The variable is COVID-19. Yet, as the film and television industry lurches forward into production everything about getting back to work leaves out what Paulson calls the most “Delicious” part. At one point in production, Paulson, Vincent D’Onofrio and others were trapped inside a bar while an active shooter emergency played out in the real world. As reality convulsed outside their shooting location the cast and crew made the best of their time in a bar. As Paulson explained, these moments were what made the production so magical. With current production limitations, one could only guess as to when “normal” would return.
Until then, until “normal” returns, until the second season of RATCHED begins production, we have executive producer Paulson stepping into her power with a host of talented actors and crew with Murphy at the helm. Ratched premieres on Friday, September 18th.