The film tells the tale of Ray Charles who was born in poverty in Georgia in 1930. He was scarred in early childhood by the accidental death of his younger brother and the loss of his sight at the age of seven. But, against all odds, he forged a ground-breaking musical career, fusing jazz, R&B, country and gospel to create his own uniquely soulful, heart-stirring music.
Jamie Foxx went all out to portray this complex role. He played the piano in all scenes himself – requiring hours of practice in addition to the intense demands of filming. He consequently had little time to sleep, and on top of that he had to wear eye prosthetics that really did make him blind for over 12 hours a day during shooting.
It was all worth it though as he totally inhabits the role of this acclaimed musician. It’s almost impossible to tell the difference between actor and the character he plays.
Ray is showing today – Tuesday 12th February – on Sky Movies Oscars at 3.35pm