For his latest series, Ryan Murphy is drawing inspiration from Ken Kesey’s classic novel One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, giving an origin story to one of its most memorable characters.
Ratched follows the eponymous nurse in her earlier years, manipulating her way into a position at a psychiatric institution, while secretly working towards her own private agenda.
Sarah Paulson takes on the lead role in the Netflix series, reuniting with Murphy after many years working together on his American Horror Story franchise.
Many fans have pointed out that Ratched is similar in tone and style to Murphy’s previous spooky hit, so should be able to tide people over in the long break between seasons.
Here’s everything you need to know about the cast of Ratched:
Sarah Paulson plays Nurse Mildred Ratched
Who is Nurse Ratched? Loosely based on the character from Ken Kesey’s 1962 novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Mildred Ratched is a nurse who worms her way into a job at an affluent psychiatric institution. Her past is mysterious to begin with, but she is clearly haunted by traumatic memories. She takes particular interest in a dangerous patient admitted to the hospital by police wishing to assess his sanity.
What else has Sarah Paulson been in? Paulson is a regular collaborator with Ratched producer Ryan Murphy, having appeared in several seasons of American Horror Story, as well as portraying Marcia Clark in American Crime Story: The People vs OJ Simpson. Her other recent roles include BBC Two’s Mrs America, Netflix hit Bird Box, and M Night Shyamalan’s Glass.
Jon Jon Briones plays Dr Richard Hanover
Who is Dr Richard Hanover? Hanover is the head doctor at Lucia State Hospital, who considers himself to be a pioneer of “revolutionary” new treatments, including the lobotomy. He too has secrets and has sacrificed a lot to be in his current position.
What else has Jon Jon Briones been in? Ryan Murphy fans will recognise Briones from American Horror Story: Apocalypse as well as The Assassination of Gianni Versace, where he portrayed Modesto Cunanan.
Cynthia Nixon plays Gwendolyn Briggs
Who is Gwendolyn Briggs? Gwendolyn works for Governor George Milburn, helping to strategise his re-election bid. She’s a kind soul who is often mistreated by her boss and quickly takes a liking to Nurse Ratched.
What else has Cynthia Nixon been in? Nixon is probably best known as Miranda Hobbes on the hit HBO comedy Sex and The City, reprising the role for both follow-up movies.
Judy Davis plays Nurse Betsy Bucket
Who is Nurse Betsy Bucket? Bucket is the head nurse at Lucia State Hospital, who clashes with Ratched from the moment she steps through the doors. She is infatuated with Doctor Hanover and is fiercely committed to carrying out his work.
What else has Judy Davis been in? Davis has had a lengthy career spanning multiple decades, recently working with Ryan Murphy on Feud: Bette and Joan, where she portrayed Hollywood blacklist advocate Hedda Hopper.
Sharon Stone plays Lenore Osgood
Who is Lenore Osgood? Lenore is a very wealthy woman who lives extravagantly and takes a keen interest in the activities of Dr Hanover.
What else has Sharon Stone been in? Stone became a Hollywood star in the 1990s, with memorable starring roles in the likes of Total Recall, Basic Instinct and Casino.
Finn Wittrock plays Edmund Tolleson
Who is Edmund Tolleson? Edmund is a serial killer who is taken to Lucia State Hospital for his sanity to be assessed. Imprisoned in a cell beneath the facility, he is frequently visited by Dolly and Nurse Ratched.
What else has Finn Wittrock been in? Another friend of Murphy, Wittrock has worked with the mega-producer on several seasons of American Horror Story, as well as The Assassination of Gianni Versace. On the big screen, he has appeared in awards contenders La La Land and If Beale Street Could Talk.
Charlie Carver plays Huck Finnigan
Who is Huck Finnigan? Huck is an orderly at Lucia State Hospital, who was disfigured during his time fighting in the Second World War.
What else has Charlie Carver been in? Carver broke out on ABC drama Desperate Housewives, following it up with roles on HBO’s The Leftovers and MTV’s television adaptation of Teen Wolf. Later this year, he will appear in Ryan Murphy’s The Boys in the Band movie, reprising a role he once played on-stage.
Alice Englert plays Dolly
Who is Dolly? Dolly is a young nurse at Lucia State Hospital, who finds herself fascinated by their dangerous new patient: Edmund Tolleson.
What else has Alice Englert been in? Englert’s past television roles include Lady Emma Pole on BBC fantasy drama Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, and Mary Edwards in Top of the Lake.
Amanda Plummer plays Louise
Who is Louise? Louise is the owner of a motel that Ratched stays at during her time working for Lucia State Hospital. She has strict rules regarding promiscuity and takes every opportunity to be nosey and involve herself in the lives of her guests.
What else has Amanda Plummer been in? Plummer’s most famous roles include Honey Bunny in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction and Wiress in Jennifer Lawrence blockbuster The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
Corey Stoll plays Charles Wainwright
Who is Charles Wainwright? Charles is an enigmatic man that Ratched encounters at her motel – she becomes concerned by his investigation into Dr Hanover.
What else has Corey Stoll been in? Corey Stoll had a memorable breakout role in the first season of Netflix’s House of Cards, before going on to star in Guillermo del Toro’s dark horror series The Strain. He played the unhinged villain in Marvel’s Ant-Man, released in 2015.
Sophie Okonedo plays Charlotte Wells
Who is Charlotte Wells? Wells is a patient at Lucia State Hospital who suffers from a severe case of dissociative identity disorder.
What else has Sophie Okonedo been in? Okonedo earned an Academy Award nomination for her performance in harrowing factual drama Hotel Rwanda. More recently, she appeared in Will Smith action flick After Earth, family flick Christopher Robin and dark fantasy flick Hellboy and will guest in season two of Netflix drama Criminal.
Vincent D’Onofrio plays Governor George Milburn
Who is Governor George Milburn? George is a state governor lining up a re-election bid. He aligns himself with Lucia State Hospital in an attempt to drum up some good publicity.
What else has Vincent D’Onofrio been in? D’Onofrio has appeared in a number of major films, including Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket, Men in Black and Jurassic World. On television, he is probably best known for his intimidating performance as Wilson Fisk, also known as Kingpin, in Marvel’s Daredevil.
Ratched is available to stream on Netflix from Friday 18th September. Looking for something else to watch? Check out our guide to the best TV series on Netflix and best movies on Netflix, or visit our TV Guide.