There won’t be a new season of American Horror Story this fall, largely due to COVID, but also because the events of 2020 could make for an entire season on their own. This doesn’t mean that Ryan Murphy and Sarah Paulson won’t be gracing our screens with terrifying television this fall, however. This Friday, Murphy’s new limited series Ratched premieres on Netflix, and viewers may recognize two north Texas actors.
Actress Harriet Harris, who worked with Murphy on Hollywood, will be appearing on Ratched along with Plano native Hunter Parrish. In the series, which is based on the Ken Kesey novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Parrish plays a priest named Father Andrews.
“I think a lot of my roles tend to be adolescents or rebellious renegades,” Parrish says. “Father Andrews is a man of the church and in his experience, he gets kind of rattled and I think it messes with him on an internal level and on a spiritual level. I think this time period was very naive for many people.”
Parrish had his breakout playing Silas Botwin on Showtime original series Weeds. Before Netflix began producing original series, the showing of Weeds was one of the selling points when the platform first introduced streaming.
“It was really exciting to be a part of Netflix at that time because streaming was so new,” Parrish says. “I got my rotation of three DVDs, but to be a part of this evolution is super exciting.”
On Weeds, Parrish worked with Jenji Kohan, who is known for producing and directing progressive works such as Glow and Orange is the New Black. With Murphy, Parrish is once again working with a producer committed to telling diverse stories.
“I think I was sort of thrown in the deep end pretty early on, and didn’t really know what I had because I was so young,” Parrish says. “And the older I get, and the further from Weeds I get, the more grateful I am for those opportunities.”
While Ratched is only set to be a limited series, Parrish believes viewers will take away a lot from these eight episodes. He is excited to be part of a short, but “thrilling” story.
Although the show might appear scary from the trailer, Parrish hopes the fright factor doesn’t deter viewers.
“There are just incredible messages, storylines, performances and magnificent art that I think would be missed,” Parrish says. “If you think you're just tuning into some sort of scary movie, it's so much more than that.”
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In addition to Ratched, Parrish does not rule out the possibility of a Weeds reboot. He says that film production company Lionsgate has toyed around with the idea, but nothing has come to fruition.
The series finale of Weeds aired in 2012, but took place seven years into the future. There were significant moments, like a Trump presidency and the legalization of marijuana in some states, that the writers couldn’t have predicted. Parrish says that if a Weeds reboot were to come to light, he hopes that the Botwins would pick up right where they left off.
“That show has always been about family;” Parish says, “the ironies of life, the trials of life and the comedy of life. I think the Botwins would kind of branch into it, with the evolution of CBD, but somehow screw it up and end up being on the run.”