SALEM, Ore. -- Louise Fletcher says she can’t bear to watch "One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest" be cause the Nurse Ratched character she won an Oscar for is so cruel.
"I find it too painful," said Flet cher, 78. "It comes with age. I can’t watch movies that are inhumane."
Fletcher is returning this weekend to the institution where the movie was made in 1975, the Ore gon State Hospital in Salem, the Statesman Journal reported.
The hospital has been rebuilt in recent years. Flet cher is attending the opening of its Museum of Mental Health.
The movie is based on the novel by Oregon writer Ken Kesey. It centers on the struggle between the steely Nurse Ratched and Jack Nicholson’s scheming character, Randall McMurphy, who eventually gets a lobotomy for leading a rebellion among the prisoners on his ward.
"I was really shocked in those scenes where I was actually so cruel," Fletcher said.
Fletcher said better known act resses turned down the role, and it wasn’t until she saw the film for the first time with an audience, in Chicago, that she was convinced she pulled it off.
In a scene where McMurphy throws Nurse Ratched against the wall and chokes her in a fit of rage, she said, "they all stood up and cheered in the theater and were stomping their feet. That got to me. I realized, ‘Hey, I created a real villain here.