“In some ways, Ray Donovan is about how difficult it is for a man—a grown man—in our society,” suggests Liev Schreiber of the acclaimed Showtime series about the elite Hollywood fixer. “Of course, this character was created by a woman, and the idea of what we as a society see as a real man is a completely prehistoric idea. And an arcane construct, if that really exists,” he adds, with a shout-out to Donovan creator Ann Biderman.
With Katie Holmes and Ian McShane joining the cast, Season 3 of the Emmy-nominated series saw Schreiber’s Donovan laid low by loss, revelations of past clerical abuse, betrayal and revenge. As always, the Tony-winning actor captures the sprawling contradictions and conflicts in the character. An onscreen situation never made easy by the Tinseltown messes, South Boston-born Donovan finds himself cleaning up the messes of his own family; especially those of his criminally inclined father Mickey, played by Jon Voight.
“Ray’s going through a midlife crisis and one aspect of his pain is certainly articulated in that, but I think the other part is that survivor psychology,” Schreiber offers about the season past, as Season 4 of Ray Donovan gets ready to launch on June 26. “In many ways, Spotlight was about the same thing.”
Ray Donovan relies on its sunny and welcoming SoCal setting. “L.A. is one of these wonderful places where you can hide in plain sight,” Schreiber notes, “and I think that suited Ray for a while. But I think he’s starting to rot from the inside out.”
Whatever has been or will be for Ray Donovan, Liev Schreiber has him in the ring swinging for the stars—and that’s a TKO right there.