Actress Cynthia Nixon, best known for her role in the hit HBO hit show “Sex and the City,” is set to play the sapphic love interest of the title character in the Netflix series “Ratched,” starring Sarah Paulson.
The series, by “American Horror Story” and “Glee” co-creator Ryan Murphy, is the origin story of Nurse Mildred Ratched, the infamous psychiatric ward tyrant from Ken Kesey’s 1962 novel “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and the 1975 Academy Award-winning film of the same name. Nixon’s character, Gwendolyn Briggs, is the dapper press secretary for the California governor in a post-World War II America.
“I meet Nurse Ratched, and I’m taken with her immediately,” Nixon said in an interview with “TODAY” on Monday. “I ask her out, but I also think that the mental hospital that she works at could be the centerpiece of the governor’s re-election campaign as so many soldiers are coming back with PTSD, and so I try to … merge these two things,” she said, referring to post-traumatic stress disorder.
In an interview with the national LGBTQ advocacy group GLAAD, Paulson, who is in a relationship with fellow actress Holland Taylor, applauded Ryan Murphy for casting her and Nixon, who is married to a woman, in their respective roles.
“He was very invested in Cynthia and I doing this together and having two queer women playing two queer women,” she said. “The power of that just from a snapshot image of the two of us doing this was something I think was very, very important to him.”
In that same interview, Nixon commended as “brilliant” the way Murphy has managed to add LGBTQ people back into history through his fictional shows.
“He takes different periods in which there were people of color and there were queer people, but we’ve been erased from the narrative. We’re not in the movies of the ‘40s and ‘50s,” she said. “To have Ryan go back and look at this period and reinsert us into the history that we’ve been erased from and really talk honestly and shine a spotlight on all the many trials and tribulations and obstacles and persecutions that we underwent is really, really important and really overdue.”
As for Murphy, in a heart emoji-filled tweet, he described Paulson and Nixon as “simply luminescent when they share a scene.”
“Get ready for the romance YOU DESERVE,” he added.
The first season of “Ratched” will premiere Sept. 18 on Netflix.