Filipino-American theater actor Jon Jon Briones is among the lead stars in the new Netflix drama series, Ratched.
In the show, Briones plays Dr. Richard Hanover, a medical professional of Filipino descent running a psychiatric hospital in the Bay Area of California. His struggles come in the form of managing a staff of Type-A nurses – specifically the new arrivals Nurse Mildred Ratched (Sarah Paulson) and her adversary, Nurse Betsy Bucket (two-time Oscar nominee Judy Davis).
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Briones shared how he landed the role.
In his recollection, Ratched executive producer Ryan Murphy saw him play The Engineer in the Broadway musical Miss Saigon. Several months later, Briones was offered a role in Ratched.
“Before I got the first three scripts, I found out that I'd be playing Dr. Richard Hanover. So I thought, okay, he has a very Western name. So that's the direction we're going. And then I read the first episode's script, and there was a line there – it didn't make it in the final cut – but Sarah's character asks [my character] if he's of Filipino descent. And that made me very happy that they acknowledged my culture and the character. And in a way, it made it easier for me to connect with my character,” he said.
Briones was deeply involved in the 1989 London production and various touring productions of Miss Saigon. In 2014, he joined the original cast of Miss Saigon’s West End revival. Four years later, he appeared in The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, as Modesto Cunanan, and in American Horror Story: Apocalypse as Ariel Augustus.
In January 2019, he was announced as one of the male leads in Ratched. Briones' daughter, Isa, is also an actor and has a lead role in the CBS All Access series, Star Trek: Picard.
Ratched stars Briones (Dr. Richard Hanover), Sarah Paulson (Nurse Mildred Ratched), Judy Davis (Nurse Betsy Bucket), Sharon Stone (Lenore Osgood), Vincent D’Onofrio (Governor George Wilburn) and Sophie Okonedo (Charlotte Wells).
Ratched is now streaming on Netflix.
(Image from Netflix)