Ray (2004) Poster

(I) (2004)


Jamie Foxx attended classes at the Braille Institute in order to help him play the role of Ray Charles.
Jamie Foxx played the piano in all scenes himself.
At his request, the screenplay was translated into Braille for Ray Charles to read.
Jamie Foxx had to wear eye prosthetics that really did make him blind for up to 14 hours a day during shooting.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Jamie Foxx studied Ray Charles to better mimic him. After a few weeks he stopped visiting Charles, saying that a 73-year-old Ray Charles couldn't help him portray the same man from ages 19 to 49.
Although Ray Charles did successfully overcome his heroin addiction, he continued to drink heavily and smoke marijuana for the rest of his life.
Director Taylor Hackford secured the rights to Ray Charles' life story in 1987 but couldn't find a studio to finance the film.
Della Bea was Ray Charles' second wife. He married 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 and Kerry Washington also appear together as husband and wife in the film Django Unchained (2012).
Ray Charles, aware he was diagnosed with hepatitis-C during the filming of this movie, confided to friends that if he had known he was going to live so long he would have taken better care of himself.
Denzel Washington was first approached to play the title role, but passed on the project.
First African-American biopic to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar.
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.
All singing was the voice of Ray Charles, despite Jamie Foxx's uncanny impersonation.
Upon winning the Academy Award in 2005, Jamie Foxx became the first actor to win the Best Actor Academy Award for a performance in a music/musical film since Rex Harrison in My Fair Lady (1964), as well as the first actor to win the award for a music/musical biography film based on a life of a musical legend since James Cagney for Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942).
Jamie Foxx had his eyes glued shut for 12 hours a day with silicone to immerse himself in the role.
Before the 2005 Academy Awards, Oprah Winfrey brought Jamie Foxx to the home of Quincy Jones where an "intervention" took place to stop Foxx's partying ways. The main person there to prepare himfor the historic event of his eventual winning the Academy Award was Sidney Poitier.
Jamie Foxx relied on old cassettes that Quincy Jones gave him to prepare for the portrayal of a young Ray Charles.
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.
When Ray goes to rehab, he meets a doctor whose name tag reads T. Hacker, a play on director Taylor Hackford.
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.
The only Best Picture Oscar nominee that year not to be nominated in any of the writing categories.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The only film that year to be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards, but not at the Producers Guild of America Awards.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

Contribute to This Page