Get ready for a side of Kathy Bates you’ve never seen.
The Emmy- and Oscar-winning actress stars as Ruth Whitefeather Feldman, a longtime pot advocate turned medical marijuana dispensary owner in the inventive Netflix show Disjointed, premiering Aug. 25. “Oftentimes through my career I play the dumpiest person in the show, and this time I don’t,” says Bates, 69. After shedding 55 pounds, the actress is full of energy and ready to strut her stuff. “I love Ruth because, in my mind, she is very sexy.”
The 20-episode workplace comedy runs the gamut, intermixing storylines on PTSD with stoner jokes. “Ruth’s whole raison d’être is, she views what she does as helping others heal,” says Bates, who is equally sold on pot’s medicinal qualities. The actress, a breast and ovarian cancer survivor and spokeswoman for the Lymphatic Education & Research Network, was prescribed marijuana by her doctor to ease nausea and chronic pain from cancer treatments. She says, “It helped tremendously.”
Though Bates may be best known for iconic movie roles (like creepy superfan Annie Wilkes in Misery), she credits American Horror Story writer-creator Ryan Murphy for providing her a second act on TV. She appeared in four seasons of his cult anthology. “It’s a profusion of opportunities — to go in directions and play characters I never dreamed and with actors that I never dreamed,” Bates says. “I pinch myself every day, and I think, ‘What did I do to deserve this?’ I wish everybody would have this opportunity in their lives.”