Spoiler alert for all Ray Dono fans who haven’t watched “Ray Donovan: The Movie” yet: This story reveals major plot points.
Does Ray Donovan really dead?
In the final moments of “Ray Donovan: The Movie,” which premiered Friday on Showtime and provides a veritable finale to the seven-season series that wrapped up last January, Ray (Liev Schreiber) falls asleep in the back of an ambulance. He had been bleeding for hours after Molly Sullivan (Kerry Condon) shot him in the stomach when she learned of his father’s death.
An underwater shot then shows a young man swimming on the surface. Schreiber, as an adult Ray, emerges. The moment concludes a 100-minute film spurred in part by fan outrage when the series was canceled. Schreiber says when Showtime axed the series, which centered on Boston-born and raised Donovan who became a “fixer” for the Los Angeles elite, he felt conflicted. “I was tired and looking for a break,” he admits. “When the initial shock wore off, I was upset because 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 did not argue over Ray’s fate but debated the murder of Mickey, Ray’s father, played by Jon Voight.
Troublemaker Mickey, an emotionally absent father who has long tormented his family, is shot dead by his granddaughter Bridget (Kerris Dorsey), after Ray apologizes to her father for accusing him of murder a while ago. all these years. “It had to stop,” Bridget coldly says of Mickey’s wreckage, explaining her actions to Ray, her father. Schreiber says Mickey’s death “felt like the good ending to that chapter of that story.”
The actor spoke with USA TODAY about how he interprets the film’s ending, whether fans can expect another “Ray Donovan” episode, 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?
Liev Schreiber: Best I can tell, and from the information I have from the powers that be, they want this to be an open-ended question, and I think you can interpret it or see it however you want. For me, the intention as a writer was to feel that we had reached the end of a chapter, we had reached the end of our journey with this family.
This open-ended question is intentional. Like, where would you take it? How does it fit into your life? Does this feel like the end of someone’s life or the beginning?
Q: So there’s a chance Ray is alive and we might get more “Ray Donovan?”
Schreiber: Yeah, I think there are. Looks like he’s alive when the ambulance door closes, right?
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Q: How do you interpret the ending when Ray comes out of the pool in his costume?
Schreiber: When I was playing it, the way I thought about it was, you know, when people have out of body experiences? That’s what it was. We’ve spent all this time on these two-stroke continuums: one is the old Ray, and the other is the present Ray. To me, it felt like it wasn’t so much a ghost of Ray, but it was Ray’s consciousness and consciousness seeing things separate from them.
Q: What does water symbolize?
Schreiber: There is a clean new Ray. It is a baptism. In the Roman Catholic tradition, from which Ray comes, there is this sense of renewal, renewal and confession. Removing that piece of his chest (forgive his father) kind of creates a shiny new ray.
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Q: Let’s talk about Ray forgiving his father. At one point in the film, Ray attempts to shoot Mickey, but he has no more bullets in the chamber. But at the end of the film, they reconcile. Tell me about the complex emotions that Ray feels at the end of his father’s life.
Schreiber: During this trip to Boston, he has a series of memories returning to the scene of the crime. He slowly begins to realize the role he played in his father’s disappearance, such as his own anger. Sending his father to Walpole (prison) for twenty 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 he realizes this wonderful thing that we hope to achieve in our lives is that the the best you can do is forgive them and move on. For years I thought my mother was doing a terrible job. Then I had kids, and I realized, no, it’s really hard, and you’re trying your best.
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 gone. Ray being shot and realizing the potential of his own death… The most important thing he can do in this moment is absolve his father, whom he has accused all his life of being the source of all his trouble. It’s a very emotional place for (Ray) because I don’t think he thinks he’s going to survive that gunshot wound.