‘Ratched’: Sarah Paulson Once Admitted She Was ‘Terrified’ to Be in Ryan Murphy’s Netflix Show

Sarah Paulson is a major actor, and major actors have more freedom to turn down roles if they please. However, Paulson said she almost felt like she had no choice but to appear in a certain Netflix show. Here’s a look at why she appeared in Ryan Murphy’s show Ratched.

Sarah Paulson | Tommaso Boddi/WireImage

Sarah Paulson reveals how she reacted when she was offered a major Netflix role

Firstly, a little background. Ryan Murphy has created a number of famous, original shows like Glee, The New Normal, and American Horror Story. However, in recent years, he’s started making adaptations of famous plays, musicals, novels, etc. For example, he produced adaptations of the play The Boys in the Band and the musical Prom for Netflix.

In a similar vein, he produced the Netflix show Ratched, based on the character of Nurse Ratched from Ken Kesey’s novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Louise Fletcher played Ratched in the film adaptation of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, earning an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in the process. Paulson played the title character in Ratched, revealing she felt compelled to take on the role for a very specific reason.

A trailer for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

RELATED: Why John Wayne Turned Down the Chance to Work With Clint Eastwood

“Ryan called and asked me, ‘Do you want to do this?’” she told The Guardian. “And I thought, ‘I don’t know that I do,’” she revealed. “I had to think, was that going to be interesting for me? Not to mention, he asked me to executive produce the thing, and that was something I had never done. It just felt like a big, giant bite to take out of something, and I wasn’t sure I was ready for it.”

Why Sarah Paulson took on the title role in ‘Ratched’

Paulson said her anxiety informed her feelings about the role. “It is so odd for someone like me, because I am such a nervous kind of person, prone to anxiety, and I think if I feel terrified to do it, I almost feel compelled, that I don’t have a choice.” In addition, Paulson explained how she responds differently to things that scare her. “I run from bees. I don’t like planes. But with work, it’s like… Give it to me!”

A Ratched trailer

RELATED: ‘Star Wars’ Actor Disliked His Lines and Didn’t Know Harrison Ford’s Name

How the world reacted to ‘Ratched’

So did acting in Ratched work out for Paulson? She was nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Actress for her part in the Netflix series. She lost the award to Emma Corrin for her role as Diana, Princess of Wales on The Crown.

However, Ratched proved popular with the public, as Netflix reports it garnered 48 million viewers in its first four weeks of release. Its first season became the most popular first season of a Netflix original show that premiered in 2020. Paulson felt almost as if she had no choice but to appear in Ratched — and her decision to appear in the show certainly had some benefits.