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Liev Schreiber on ‘Ray Donovan’ Cast: ‘We Came Up As Clean-Up Guys Instead of Leading Men’

Time Warner Cable and Showtime pulled out all the stops at Wednesday’s spirited fete for the season two premiere of the gritty drama “Ray Donovan,” which nabbed an Emmy nomination in the best supporting actor category for Jon Voight, who plays Mickey Donovan, Liev Schreiber’s on-screen father sprung from prison and wreaking havoc on Ray’s personal life.

“There are so many good scenes when I look back on our last season,” said Voight. “I like to look at things as a whole, as a complete body of work (rather) than break things apart. It’s a joy to be a part of something as excellent as this.”

Following a screening of the premiere episode at Malibu Cinemas, where series stars Paula Malcomson and Dash Mihok were treated to popcorn, candy and cherry slushes, everyone headed to upscale sushi eatery Nobu — perched on PCH overlooking the Pacific. Guests feasted on a smorgasbord of delicious, buttery-soft sushi, sashimi and seared fish skewers (churros and decadent chocolate cake for dessert) while imbibing an array of “Ray Donovan”-themed cocktails and top shelf champagne. A video booth was set up where fans could slip on boxing gloves and sweatbands and duke it out on film.

When asked what it was like to work with such an estimable group of actors, Schreiber described it as “a bonding experience from the get-go.”

“We all came up as clean-up guys instead of leading men,” Schreiber said. “We all look out for one another; we spend time together at the gym working out.”

Schreiber called television a “reactive medium,” and cited the fact that Ray “doesn’t talk a lot” as one of the reasons he was attracted to the role.

“The performance really comes down to Ray reacting to what others around him are saying and doing,” he said. “It’s a quiet role really, which is so very different than what I’ve done before in film and on stage.” Schreiber also described the scenes with Mihok as “emotional and high impact.”

In preparation for his role as a “sexual anorexic” and recovering addict from South Boston, Mihok spent time walking from Dorchester to downtown Boston, a lengthy stroll, ducking into bars and making conversation.

“It was a great way to get a feel for the place,” he said.

Elliot Gould, who plays Ezra Goldman, a powerful L.A. attorney with a dark past on “Ray Donovan,” spoke about his character’s Judaism and the recurring theme of the “rodef” (“pursuer” in Hebrew), which appears throughout this season of the show. Gould also waxed nostalgic about legendary filmmaker Paul Mazursky, with whom he worked on the 1969 Oscar-nominated movie “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice.”

“I was very sad to hear of his passing,” said Gould. “He was one of the great ones and to be able to have worked with him was an honor and an experience that I will never forget.”

A spectacular display of fireworks set to D.J. music provided an unforgettable climax to the party, which was also attended by Hollywood fixtures LeAnn Rimes, Eddie Cibrian, Rosanna Arquette and Vinessa Shaw, who joins the “Ray Donovan” cast this season as a reporter.

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