Written and directed by Rodrigo García, ‘Raymond & Ray’ follows the lives of two half-brothers after their estranged father passes away. Despite their terrible childhood, the two reunite and set out to fulfill their father’s last wish of digging his grave. This act forces them to confront their past, introspect, and truly comprehend their father’s effect on their lives.
The film takes the audience on an emotional roller-coaster ride by combining genres such as dark comedy, drama, and slice of life. It explores themes such as strenuous relationships, repressed memories, trauma, and catharsis in an authentic manner. A significant factor contributing to the realism and melancholic undertone of the film is its somber backdrop. If you are curious about the filming locations of ‘Raymond & Ray,’ let us give you a quick tour.
Raymond & Ray Filming Locations
‘Raymond & Ray’ was shot across different cities and counties in the southeastern state of Virginia, with a majority of the scenes taped in Central Virginia. The filming of the Ewan McGregor and Ethan Hawke starrer commenced in October 2021 and reportedly concluded in November of the same year. As per the state production regulations, the film likely received a percentage of Virginia film tax credit for contributing to the economy of the region by choosing it as a filming site.
Interestingly, Producer Julie Lynn has a previous connection with the state. She is a graduate of the University of Virginia and a board member of the Virginia Film Festival. Besides this, ‘Raymond & Ray’ marks Ethan Hawke’s second visit to the state for the purpose of filming; his miniseries, ‘The Good Lord Bird,‘ was filmed in Virginia as well. Let’s get to the specific locations of the movie.
Most of the film was shot in various fascinating locations across Richmond, the capital of Virginia. In November 2021, key scenes from the movie were captured at Oakwood Cemetery, which doubled up as the burial ground of Raymond and Ray’s deceased father. The dull atmosphere of this site lends itself to the characters’ despair and elevates their grief. Situated at the East End of Richmond, between Nine Mile Road and Stony Run Parkway, the vast place is an abode to the graves of over 48,000 people, including many soldiers from the Civil War.
Another curious choice of location is Downtown Richmond. A few scenes of the movie were shot on and around West Broad Street. The filming crew was particularly spotted next to Quirk Hotel, an off-beat boutique hotel that offers rooms, suites, art experiences, venues for weddings and meetings, and multiple restaurants. Thus, the cast and crew might have filmed at the 4-star hotel for a brief period.
The team also leveraged Jackson Ward for a few crucial scenes, some of which reportedly required Ethan Hawke and Sophie Okonedo to film at night. Historically an African-American district within Richmond, the site likely acted as the backdrop for one of the pivotal moments between the two characters — where Ray runs and stops Kiera’s car midway. While this scene was being shot, a Twitter user managed to capture a few moments from a distance, as you can see below.
oh good the film crew is still here and tonight they have the enormous pillar version of the FondaCam 5000 light rig pic.twitter.com/0XIzH75dtG
— taber (@cakesandcourage) November 16, 2021
Besides these, the film was shot at Fulton Hill and Church Hill. The former is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Richmond that stretches from Gillies Creek to the city limits. Church Hill, also known as St. John’s Church Historic District, is the eastern terminus of Broad Street. This is the place where Patrick Henry gave the “Give me liberty” speech in 1775. Both these neighborhoods have a classical aesthetic that adds to the rustic feel of the movie. A few other significant shows and films that have been shot here include ‘Dopesick,’ ‘Homeland,’ ‘Mission Impossible III,’ and many more.
The movie was also filmed in the historic riverfront city of Hopewell in Prince George county in the southeastern part of the state. From October 18 to 21, the production team shot a few scenes at Sixth Avenue, between West Broadway Avenue and City Point Road, as well as West Broadway Avenue, which was closed to the public on October 21. These roads could have been the backdrop for scenes in which Ray and Raymond travel in a car.
Other Locations in Virginia
Besides these locations, the team filmed a few scenes in the Cartersville community of Cumberland County, Goochland County, and even the city of Petersburg. A common thread between these locations is how they bring together contemporary and traditional vibes. They exude a vibrant yet gloomy vibe, similar to the film’s overall tonality and characters.
During the filming schedule, Ethan Hawke and Ewan McGregor were spotted exploring the restaurant scene in the locality. On the one hand, Ethan and his daughter, Maya Hawke, had a sumptuous meal at Cul’s Courthouse Grille in Charles City County. On the other hand, Ewan McGregor and his wife were seen taking a picture with the staff of The Lilly Pad in Eastern Henrico County in Richmond.
Read More: Is Raymond & Ray Based on a True Story?