“Ratched” follows the story of Mildred Ratched a decade before the events of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”

When Sarah Paulson reflects on her career, the 45-year-old actress neatly divides her filmography into two eras: “Before M.C.” and “Post-M.C.”

Those initials belong to Marcia Clark, the prosecutor Paulson portrayed with striking strength and vulnerability in Ryan Murphy’s 2016 limited series “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.” After two decades of hustling on stage and screen as a respected character actress, Paulson delivered a transcendent performance that yielded an Emmy, a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild prize.

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