Spoiler alert for all Ray Dono fans who haven’t seen “Ray Donovan: The Movie” yet: This story reveals main plot pointyes
it’s ray donovan Really dead?
In the closing moments of “Ray Donovan: The Movie,” which opened on Show time on Friday and offers a true finale to the seven-season series that ended last January, Ray (Lev Schreiber) nods in the back of an ambulance. He had been bleeding for hours after being shot in the stomach by Molly Sullivan (Kerry Condon) when he learned his father was dead.
Then an underwater shot shows a young man swimming to the surface. Schreiber, as the adult Ray, emerges. The moment wraps up a 100-minute movie fueled in part by fan outrage when the series was cancelled. Schreiber says that when Showtime axed the series, centered on the Boston-born and bred Donovan, who became a “fixer” for Los Angeles’s elite, he was conflicted. “I was tired and looking for a break,” he admits. “When the initial shock wore off, I was upset that we hadn’t finished the story.”
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Schreiber co-wrote the film with executive producer and director David Hollander. Schreiber says the two didn’t discuss Ray’s fate, but did discuss killing Mickey, Ray’s father, played by jon voight.
Troubled Mickey, an emotionally absent father who had long bullied his family, is shot by his granddaughter Bridget (Kerris Dorsey), after Ray apologizes to her father for framing him for murder all those years ago. “It had to stop,” Bridget says coldly of Mickey’s remains, explaining her actions to Ray, her father. Schreiber says that Mickey’s death “felt like the proper ending to this chapter of that story.”
The actor spoke to USA TODAY about how he interprets the film’s ending, whether fans can look forward to another ‘Ray Donovan’ installment, and why Ray and Mickey finally buried the hatchet.
(This interview has been edited for length and clarity.)
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Question: Is Ray dead? What does the end mean?
Lev Schreiber: As best I can tell, and from the information I have from the powers that be, they want it to be an open question, and I think you can interpret or view it however you want. For me, the intention as a writer was to feel like we had reached the end of a chapter, we had reached the end of our journey with this family.
That open question is intentional. Like, where would you take it? How does it fit into your life? Does it feel like the end of someone’s life or the beginning?
Q: So is there a chance that Ray is alive and we can get more “Ray Donovan?”
Schreiber: Yes, I think there is. It looks like it’s alive when the ambulance door closes, right?
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Q: How do you interpret the ending when Ray emerges from the pool in his suit?
Schreiber: When I was acting it, the way I thought about it was, you know when people have out-of-body experiences? That’s what it was. We spend all this time in these two-tense continuums: one is old Ray and one is current Ray. For me, it felt like it wasn’t so much a ghost of Ray, but rather it was Ray’s conscience and consciousness seeing things separate from them.
Q: What does the water symbolize?
Schreiber: There’s a new, clean Ray. it’s a baptism. In the Roman Catholic tradition, from which Ray comes, there is this sense of revival, renewal and confession. Taking that piece out of his chest (forgive his father) creates a shiny new Ray, in a way.
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Q: Let’s talk about Ray forgiving his father. At one point in the film, Ray tries to shoot Mickey, but he has no more bullets in the chamber. But at the end of the movie, they reconcile. Tell me about the complex emotions Ray feels at the end of his father’s life.
Schreiber: Over the course of that trip to Boston, he has a series of flashbacks upon returning to the crime scene. He slowly begins to realize the role he played in his father’s death, such as his own anger. Sending your father to Walpole (prison) for 20-odd years, and how that will also harden a person.
As (Ray) remembers how difficult his own life was, he begins to understand how difficult his father’s life was and realizes how wonderful that hopefully we realize in our life, is that the best What you can do is forgive them and move on. For years, I thought my mom did a terrible job. Then I had children and I realized, no, it’s very difficult, and you do the best you can.
Mortality will do that to you too. I had just lost my own father, oddly enough, when we were (doing) this. It really makes you see things differently when someone is no longer around. Ray is shot and realizes the potential for his own death… The most important thing he can do at this point is to absolve his father, whom he has accused all his life of being the source of all his problems. That’s a very emotional place for (Ray) because I don’t think he thinks he’s going to survive that gunshot wound.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism