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Ray Donovan “Sunny” Postmortem with Octavius J. Johnson [Exclusive Interview] 

Photo Credit: Suzanne Tenner/SHOWTIME
Photo Credit: Suzanne Tenner/SHOWTIME

Warning: Major Spoilers Ahead

That last scene. If you haven’t watched “Sunny” yet I’m giving you a chance to look away. Trust me you don’t want to be spoiled by reading this first, you want to watch the episode.

I’m upset. I’ve been pretty invested in Bridget and Marvin for a while now. He made a mistake early in their relationship, but I think he learned from it and they moved on together. While Marvin may not be the best influence, he’s the only person who is there consistently for Bridget. Maybe he shouldn’t be encouraging her to skip school or smoke weed, but since Ray and Abby Donovan are pretty checked out as far as their parenting goes, it’s nice that Bridget has someone she can rely on in Marvin.

Ray has seemed to be more insistent recently about Bridget staying away from Marvin. Although Ray isn’t that impressed with Cookie’s bravado, he knows the man is very dangerous. The fact that Marvin chooses to associate himself with a man like that worries both Ray and Re-Kon and in tonight’s episode we find out why.

When it seems like Cookie’s going to take Marvin to South Beach, I had a hard time believing that Octavius J. Johnson would be leaving the show. I was hoping something would come up to keep him local and at least in Re-Kon’s life. Drexler thinks he handles the situation adequately by throwing money at the problem. But that is not how you deal with a man like Cookie Brown and we see the results of that disrespect when he kills Re-Kon. I thought for a moment that Marvin would make it, but in the end Cookie has to send a clear message so he kills Marvin as well.

I spoke with Octavius earlier this week about his untimely death and how much it affected me. He told me the producers called him “two weeks before they were gonna kill off Marvin.” They made him “feel good about what” he’d “done on the show,” but they wanted to put some extra “umph in the season.”

When I asked him about any special preparation he had to do for the scene, Octavius told me “it was my first scene like that.” He’d died “on stage before, but not never with something like a window exploding around him, and the blood.” He “thought it was gonna go one way in my head, but it’s different on the day, different on the page.”

“In the script, it says,” Marvin “dies with a peaceful look on his face.” Octavius explained that “Marvin’s always been a peaceful kid and charismatic.” So when he was preparing for the scene he kept that in mind and always tried to “respond in character.” More than thinking about what he could “say right now to save” his life, Marvin “was really just trying to protect Bridget” in that moment after Re-Kon was shot. It seemed like Cookie “might let Marvin slide,” but “that didn’t happen.” In that scene, Octavius felt like “the intention was there to keep Cookie calm and not upset him.” Octavius says filming that scene “felt real.”

When I asked him how he thinks Marvin’s death will affect Bridget and the rest of the Donovans, Octavius says his murder “definitely resonates. It’s a devastating thing that happens. Of course, I wasn’t at any more table reads after that episode, but I’m really interested in seeing how Ray responds.” He wonders if Ray “is he gonna be saddened by” Marvin’s death and so do I. Although I’m so sad to see Octavius go, I do think something like this will play out in such an interesting way for the rest of the season.

Photo Credit: Suzanne Tenner/SHOWTIME
Photo Credit: Suzanne Tenner/SHOWTIME

Octavius also told me it was “a pleasure to work with” Omar Dorsey who “really took me under his wing.” Octavius is busy auditioning and as soon as he knows what’s next for him, he’ll let us know on social media. You can follow him on Twitter @octaviusj_OLord and on Instagram is @octaviusjjohnson1.

Other Developments

  • Mickey gets a pitch meeting with a big time producer who loves the pitch and agrees to make his movie and buy his life rights. But his history with Alan sours the deal.
  • Ray’s suspicions are confirmed when Avi gets proof that Abby’s having an affair. He decides to confront Jim, telling him to end it. Abby’s not impressed with his actions and kicks him out of the house.
  • Kate realizes the story she was fed by Ray and the FBI is bullsh*t.

Ray Donovan airs Sundays at 9/8c on Showtime.

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  1. ifi

    “He made a mistake early in their relationship, but I think he learned from it”

    A bit of understatement, huh?

    1. TV Goodness

      I do have a gift for it.

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