Digging up the past isn’t necessarily a productive step in moving on, but for half brothers Raymond and Ray, played by Ethan Hawke and Ewan McGregor, it’s their deceased father’s last request. In the new film Raymond and Ray, out Friday on Apple TV+, the estranged siblings embark on an awkward road trip to dig their father’s grave. Along the way, they grapple with painful memories caused by his psychological abuse.
McGregor, who plays Raymond, tells ABC Audio that his character has never fully moved on from his traumatic upbringing.
“It’s his brother Ray that just teases out of him, like, ‘You’ve got to experience the anger, can’t you be angry with him, can’t you be angry with him?’” he says. “And finally Raymond can unlock it, and oh my goodness, does it come pouring out, the rage.”
For Hawke, the premise of the film reminds him of his own life experience. After the death of his well-liked grandfather, he learned things about a person he thought he knew.
“I remember, that was the first time at his funeral that I really realized how many aspects to a human being there were,” he says. “People that were telling these stories that seemed so far away from anything -- I knew this person really well, and there were these huge chapters of his life that I never had contact with.”
In this tale of two Rays, Hawke says we learn that our perception of someone may not be universal. “I think the script gets at that in a really beautiful way,” he says.