Sarah Paulson Opens Up About Colorful, Complex 'Ratched'

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Monday September 21, 2020

"Ratched" star and frequent Ryan Murphy collaborator Sarah Paulson opened up about her starring role as the iconic "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" nurse, telling Entertainment Weekly that the character has more facets than just being "straight-up evil."

"I don't think I would have been very interested in playing the part if that had been the case... That never would have appealed to me at all," she said.

Paulson touched upon the early life traumas that make Nurse Ratched the blend of ruthlessness and compassion that viewers see depicted in the Netflix original series. Paulson also discussed the series' production design, which is full of period design elements and stylistic color choices.

Saying the "color was really important to Ryan," Paulson marveled at "the number of swatches we through to determine the exact color green for my nurse uniform.

"I certainly knew that color was going to be important from a thematic standpoint, integral in terms of representing Mildred's interior life," Paulson added.

Reflecting further on the role, Paulson went on to add, "From an outsider's perspective, I could understand if they were like, 'This here is a horror show.' I just don't fully see it that way. There's too much of a character study going on to be pure horror."

The actor has worked with Murphy on a number of projects, including multiple seasons of "American Horror Story" and an Emmy-winning turn as Marcia Clark in "American Crime Story: The People v. O. J. Simpson," which Murphy co-executive produced.

Speaking of her long working relationship with Murphy, Paulson said, "I don't know where we go from here. But I sure hope there's more to come."

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.