>Ray Charles is quite possibly one of the most influential musicians of recent memory. Like Stevie Wonder, he was a sightless pianist skilled with a soulful vocals and repertoire of beautiful and classic music. Ten years ago Mr. Charles passed away but not before the filming of the biopic of which he inspired. Ray, the film based on the life and trials and tribulations of Ray Charles released ten years ago, in 2004. To celebrate the ten-year anniversary, we at So So Active bring you ten interesting facts about the film Ray.
•This movie won lead actor Jamie Foxx is first and, so far, only Oscar to date. He is the first African-American to do so since Sidney Poitier in Lilies of the Field in 1963 and Denzel Washington in Training Day in 2001. The next African-American to win for Lead Actor would go to Forest Whitaker in 2006 for Last King of Scotland.
•A major studio did not finance the film so it was shot independently. However, after the film was completed, Universal stepped in to distribute the film to theaters.
•Ray Charles died in June of 2004, just months before the October release of the film. However, before he died he did view a screening of the first cut of the film.
•Ray Charles actually read the script before the film went into production. The screenplay was translated into braille.
•Director Taylor Hackford secured the rights to Ray Charles’ life in 1987 but was unable to film it until 2003/2004.
•The first choice to play Ray Charles was Denzel Washington who passed.
•This is the first biopic based on an African-American to be nominated for Best Picture.
•Jamie Foxx had to wear prosthetics for his eyes that would blind him for a day of shooting.
•Jamie Foxx attended a class at the Braille Institute to achieve the authentic mannerisms of a blind man.
•Jamie Foxx stated that the work schedule was hectic since many of the shooting days would last 14 hours. Not only that, he would stay up late practicing the piano.