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Sarah Paulson Goes 'Cuckoo' in First Trailer for Netflix's 'Ratched'

ETOnline logo ETOnline 14 hrs ago John Boone‍ and Philiana Ng‍
a person standing in front of a car © Netflix

Sarah Paulson is ready to tell a new horror story.

In Netflix's new series, Ratched, she stars as Mildred Ratched, years before she becomes the monstrous -- yet iconic -- Nurse Ratched of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. (Louise Fletcher played the role in the 1975 film, for which she won the Oscar.)

"I think people think we're remaking Cuckoo's Nest, which we're not doing. This is a prequel," Paulson clarified to ET. "It's sort of an origin story. It's how that woman came to be."

Ratched, which hails from Ryan Murphy and longtime collaborator Ian Brennan, sees Mildred arrive in Northern California in 1947 and secure a job at a psychiatric hospital, her inner darkness finding its new purpose amid the world of mental health care.

On Tuesday, during the Television Critics Association's summer press outing, the series' twisted first trailer debuted. Watch now:

Replay Video

Paulson spoke about playing a character she didn't originate, admitting that it is an "enormous plus" to have the "great fortune" of studying Fletcher's performance to inform Mildred's trajectory.

"It gave me an opportunity to have a real spine of the character built in," Paulson told reporters at Netflix's TCA session, "in terms of knowing where I was going with it... It's an imagined idea of what Mildred's life would have been before she found her way to the hospital."

"Some people are going to be looking for Louise Fletcher and I don't want people to be disappointed," she added. "It's a blessing and a curse."

Paulson revealed she didn't reach out to Fletcher or surviving actors or producers from Cuckoo's Nest, but she "thought about Louise Fletcher every day." "I hope in the coming season there will be some Louise Fletcher," she hoped.

Alongside Paulson's titular nurse, the series stars Cynthia Nixon as a politico, Judy Davis as a no-nonsense fellow nurse and Sharon Stone as an eccentric heiress, with Jon Jon Briones, Finn Wittrock, Charlie Carver, Alice Englert, Amanda Plummer, Corey Stoll, Sophie Okonedo and Vincent D’Onofrio rounding out the ensemble.

Sarah Paulson standing in front of a mirror posing for the camera: Sarah Paulson as Mildred Ratched | Netflix

Sarah Paulson as Mildred Ratched | Netflix
© Sarah Paulson as Mildred Ratched | Netflix

Ratched premieres Friday, Sept. 18 on Netflix.

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