Ratched star lifts lid on 'scary' mental asylum scenes and the 'psychotic breaks' that inspired new Netflix horror

RATCHED star Cynthia Nixon has lifted the lid on the “really scary” mental asylum scenes and the “psychotic breaks” that inspired the new Netflix horror. 

The series explores how Mildred Ratched became the sinister nurse of 1975 classic One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. 

Sex and the City legend Cynthia Nixon plays Gwendolyn Briggs, who is a love interest to Sarah Paulson’s character Mildred. 

Set in 1947, the series gives an insight as to how mental illness was treated (spoiler: shockingly). 

Speaking to The Sun’s TV Magazine, Hannibal star Cynthia revealed she was “fascinated” by the character Nurse Ratched because she did such awful and cruel things, “but not in a mustache-twirling way”.

The 54-year-old said: “She was strangely impassive and detached. 

“I think that one of the things our series is about is understanding what happened to Nurse Ratched to turn her into a person who is so devoid of feeling and so capable of making cold, heartless decisions.”

Discussing her character, Cynthia said: “Gwendolyn is a person who is very bright and very ambitious. She works for the Governor of California as his press secretary, and decides that in order to make him appear progressive he should make mental health the cornerstone of his reelection campaign. This is partly because there were all of these men coming back from the war with PTSD.”

The topic of mental health institutions at the time are always perceived as scary and unsettling, something that Cynthia agrees with. 

She said: “I think hospitals of all kinds are really scary places! But we're talking about 1947 and it's a scary place because people who have had a psychotic break go there often against their will. 

“I've had friends who have spent time in psych wards and it's really scary for them of course, but it’s also really scary for people close to them. 

“But also I’ve gone through almost not recognising the person I know so well and that is terrifying."

Ratched is available to stream on Netflix from today.

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