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Ray (2004) Poster

(I) (2004)

Trivia

Jamie Foxx played the piano in all scenes himself.
At his request, the screenplay was translated into Braille for Ray Charles to read.
Ray Charles died of liver failure on 10 June 2004, after filming had ended. He was able to sit through the first edit of the film before his death.
No studio was interested in backing the film. The film was then shot independently and once it was completed, Universal stepped in to distribute it. Part of the reason Universal released it was because one of the executives of the studio used to hitchhike to Hollywood to watch Ray Charles concerts.
Taylor Hackford says on his commentary that he made the decision to end the film in the middle of Ray's life because his later life consisted of no conflict, only success.
Jamie Foxx had to wear eye prosthetics that really did make him blind for up to 14 hours a day during shooting.
Jamie Foxx attended classes at the Braille Institute in order to help him play the role of Ray.
Denzel Washington was first approached to play the title role, but passed on the project.
The woman portrayed as Ray's wife in the film, Della Bea, was actually his second wife. Ray's first marriage was to Eileen Williams in 1951. They had one child and divorced in 1952.
First African-American biopic to be nominated for (6) Academy Awards, including Best Actor and Best Picture.
Jamie Foxx studied Ray Charles to better mimic him. After a few weeks he stopped visiting Ray saying that a 73-year-old Ray Charles couldn't help him in portraying a 19-year-old Ray Charles, up until age 49, by the movie's ending.
Jamie Foxx remarked that the demanding role barely left him any time to sleep, as his day would begin early in the morning filming for long hours, and then he'd go home and stay up late practicing piano.
Director Taylor Hackford secured the rights to Ray Charles's life story in 1987 but couldn't find a studio to finance the film.
Director of Photography Pawel Edelman, being a fan of Ray Charles, was the very first crew member to join the project by committing to it a year before start of shooting. Taylor Hackford wanted to work with him in Proof of Life (2000) but Edelman was unavailable at that time.
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During the scenes where Ray refuses to play in Georgia because of Jim Crow laws, which were actually filmed outside of the Municipal Auditorium in New Orleans, you will notice Mounted Police Officers. They were actual members of the New Orleans Police Department Mounted Unit.
First African-American biopic to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar.
Originally slated to be released on the first week of October 2004, but the delay at the start of editing prompted the film to be released two weeks later. According to director Taylor Hackford, the original editor quit the project one month after production started before Paul Hirsch was brought in. When Hirsch joined in, he wanted an additional two weeks to edit the earlier material (approved) and insisted to have a stand-alone work print - which became the Extended version of the film.
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When Ray went into the rehab, he meets a doctor whose name tag reads T. Hacker (the director is Taylor Hackford).
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Although Ray Charles did successfully overcome his heroin addiction, he continued to drink heavily and smoke marijuana the rest of his life.
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