It’s Ryan Murphy’s world, and we’re just living in it. At least, that’s the case when it came time for Murphy to
cast the Netflix series Ratched.
Most of the actors in the series have already worked in the Ryan Murphyverse before, because there’s nothing he loves more than drawing on his pool of talent to populate his new shows.
Ratched follows the titular Nurse Mildred Ratched ( Sarah Paulson) as she joins the staff of a California mental hospital. She’s based on the character of the same name from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, only this story takes place years prior and gives her a much richer backstory than the novel or film did.
Paulson is already quite seasoned at working with Ryan Murphy, and many of her co-stars were too. The cast is filled with
former American Horror Story players, a Feud actress, some American Crime Story stars, a Glee actor, and even some stars from The Normal Heart (that’s a #TBT to Murphy’s television movie from a few years ago.)
There are also a handful of newcomers who could very well become frequent Murphyverse contributors after showing off their skills in
Warning: Mild spoilers for Ratched are ahead.
Nurse Mildred Ratched (Played By Sarah Paulson)
Who She Is: Mildred grew up an orphan with no one but her foster brother Edmund Tolleson (Finn Wittrock). After they were separated as children, she made it her life mission to track him down — and she’ll lie and even kill if she has to. How Paulson Fits Into The Ryan Murphyverse: She’s been in several seasons of , and she played Marcia Clark on American Horror Story The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story. She also had a one episode stint on Feud. Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
Edmund Tolleson (Played By Finn Wittrock)
Who He Is: Mildred believes that the way Edmund grew up shaped him into the killer he is today. He does show soft spots at points, but he also murdered several priests in cold blood, so. How Wittrock Fits Into The Murphyverse: He’s been in just about every American Horror Story season, and he played Jeffrey Trail in He also had a role in Murphy’s move The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story. The Normal Heart, which was about a gay activist. Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
Dr. Richard Hanover (Played By Jon Jon Briones)
Who He Is: The head doctor of the Lucia mental hospital, Hanover’s heart seems in the right place — but he’s a rule breaker like Ratched too. How Briones Fits Into The Murphyverse: He’s appeared in American Horror Story: Apocalypse and in the Versace American Crime Story as Andrew Cunanan’s dad. Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
Nurse Betsy Bucket (Played By Judy Davis)
Who She Is: The no-nonsense head nurse doesn’t like Nurse Ratched swooping in and being sketchy. How Davis Fits Into The Murphyverse: She played real life journalist Hedda Hopper on Feud. Hedda trafficked in Hollywood gossip and is pretty much the opposite of Nurse Bucket. Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
Gwendolyn Briggs (Played By Cynthia Nixon)
Who She Is: On the surface she’s a married press secretary for California’s governor, but underneath that, she develops feelings for Mildred Ratched. How Nixon Fits Into The Murphyverse: This is the Sex and the City alum’s first time working with Murphy. She told Vogue that he approached her for the role, which she leapt at. “She is so ahead of her time. She’s a queer woman and someone who wants not just to be behind the scenes in politics, but also to eventually be the candidate herself,” Nixon gushed about the character. Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
Governor George Milburn (Played By Vincent D’Onofrio)
Who He Is: All the Governor cares about is getting re-elected. He’ll entertain any idea to make that happen, but the second voters seem wary, he’s onto the next thing. How D’Onofrio Fits Into The Murphyverse: You’ve probably seen him in Law & Order: Criminal Intent or Men in Black, but this is D’Onofrio’s first Murphyverse project. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images.
Huck Finnigan (Played By Charlie Carver)
Who He Is: The dutiful orderly, he genuinely cares about the hospital and its patients and he’s one of the few people who also likes Nurse Ratched. How Carver Fits Into The Murphyverse: Ratched was his first project, but he’ll also be in The Boys in the Band, which had Murphy as a producer. Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
Dolly (Played By Alice Englert)
Who She Is: Dolly is training to be a nurse at the hospital, but she lets her flirty nature get the best of her when she starts to form a connection with Edmund. How Englert Fits Into The Murphyverse: This is her first time in a Murphy show, and she’s already a big fan. “What I love about Ryan Murphy is that he understands what’s sexy, actually, genuinely, truly, and that is tension and humanity and story. He gets what is human and erotic and cool and weird,” she told Collider. Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
Lenore Osgood (Played By Sharon Stone)
Who She Is: An über rich woman with a pet monkey, a mansion, and plenty of money to spend on hiring a hit man.
How Stone Fits Into The Murphyverse: This is the Basic Instinct star’s first turn in a Murphy series. She told Decider that she was a little hesitant based on his past work.
“Of course I was excited that Ryan Murphy wanted me to work with him and do it,” she said. “But you never know how big the cliff is you’re going to have to jump off of when he says he’s writing you a part, because I’ve seen all the other Ryan Murphy shows.”
Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
Henry Osgood (Played By Brandon Flynn)
Who He Is: Lenore’s son who has a sadistic side and uses his wealth and privilege at the great expense of others. How Flynn Fits Into The Murphyverse: Ratched is a first Murphy role for Flynn, who was best known before this for playing Justin in 13 Reasons Why . Photo: Daniele Venturelli/Getty Images.
Charles Wainwright (Played By Corey Stoll)
Who He Is: A gruff hitman who’s out to do a job but doesn’t mind taking a break to also try to hit things off with Nurse Ratched. How Stoll Fits Into The Murphyverse: He was also in The Normal Heart , but this is his big return to Murphy-land after years away. You also know him from House of Cards. Photo: Jamie McCarthy/WireImage.
Louise (Played By Amanda Plummer)
Who She Is: Louise runs the Sealight Inn, and she uses her position to be in everybody’s business, all the time. How Plummer Fits Into The Murphyverse: She didn’t until Ratched, but you may also recognize her from the famous diner scene in Pulp Fiction or from playing Wiress in the Hunger Games movie Catching Fire. Photo: Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images.
Charlotte Wells (Played By Sophie Okonedo)
Who She Is: A patient at the hospital, she checks herself in when she starts losing track of time. Hanover diagnosed her as having dissociative identity disorder due to previous trauma in her life. How Okonedo Fits Into The Murphyverse: She’s a newbie to Murphy’s world but well-versed as an actor. She’s appeared in a lot of British projects like Flack and The Hollow Crown. Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
Harold (Played By Jermaine Williams)
Who He Is: The good-natured hospital guard who helps keep the patients safe, even when it’s dangerous to do so. How Williams Fits Into The Murphyverse: This is his first project with Murphy, but you may have previously seen him in Fat Albert, Raising Hope, or Insecure. Photo: E. Charbonneau/WireImage.
Ingrid (Played By Harriet Sansom Harris)
Who She Is: Ingrid checks into the hospital to have a lobotomy. She’s hoping to rid herself of her diagnosed mania. Things don’t really go according to plan. How Harris Fits Into The Murphyverse: She’s has one episode roles on American Horror Story: Apocalypse as Madelyn and Hollywood as Eleanor Roosevelt. Photo: Dia Dipasupil/FilmMagic.
Lily (Played By Annie Starke)
Who She Is: Lily checks in for a lobotomy to cure her “lesbianism,” because this is the ’40s and homophobia is everywhere. How Starke Fits Into The Murphyverse: This isn’t just her first Murphy role, it’s also one of her first big roles ever. Perhaps she’ll become a Murphyverse staple from here out. Photo: Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images.
Peter (Played By Teo Briones)
Who He Is: Peter’s parents schedule him for a lobotomy because he daydreams too much. And, yes, it’s as heartbreaking to watch as it sounds. How Briones Fits Into The Murphyverse: He’s Jon Briones’ son, so he’s been around Murphy thanks to his dad. But this is Briones’ first time in a Murphy show. Previously, he’s been on Pretty Little Liars and Days of Our Lives. Photo: Amanda Edwards/Getty Images.
Trevor Briggs (Played By Michael Benjamin Washington)
Who He Is: He’s married to Cynthia Nixon’s Gwendolyn, but they’re just acting as shields for each other while they explore their sexualities. How Washington Fits Into The Murphyverse: He was in one episode of Glee as Tracy Pendergrass and he’s also slated for the upcoming The Boys in the Band. Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions.
Father Andrews (Played By Hunter Parrish)
Who He Is: The only surviving member of the group of priests that Edmund Tolleson attacks in the first episode. How Parrish Fits Into The Murphyverse: He didn’t until now with his role in Ratched, but fans will also recognise him from Weeds and 17 Again. Photo: Walter McBride/Getty Images.
Anna (Played By Rosanna Arquette)
Who She Is: The kind-hearted caseworker who helps Mildred Ratched and Edmund Tolleson stay together as foster siblings. How Arquette Fits Into The Murphyverse: Ratched is her first foray into Murphy’s world, but she jumped at the chance to work with him. “He’s surprising me [with my character]. I don’t even know what it is yet, but when Ryan Murphy says he wants to work with you, you just say, ‘yes.’ You trust him,” she told UPI. Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage.
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