RAY DONOVAN’s Devon Bagby gives us insight into his character of Conor

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Photo credit: Ricky Middlesworth

Showtime’s latest drama series, RAY DONOVAN, quickly grabbed great ratings and a second season renewal for the show, that follows the story of Hollywood fixer, his family, his father, and his work.  Young actor Devon Bagby plays the titular character’s son, Conor, and I spent some time chatting with him about what’s coming (he can’t tell us much or he’ll give it all away) and what got him interested in acting and this role specifically.  Check it out and be sure to catch an all new episode of RAY DONOVAN on Showtime Sunday nights at 10/9c after DEXTER.

I feel like RAY DONOVAN blew everyone’s mind with how great it did, and how great the show is.  What does that feel like to be that exciting, that big premiere?
It’s truly a blessing with all of these great actors, writers, directors that I got work with on this.  It’s a blessing.

What was it about the show that made you want to pursue it?
I remember that I got the email and first read the cast – saw that it had an amazing cast: Liev Schreiber, Jon Voight, Paula Malcomson, Elliot Gould, the list goes on forever!  I told my mom – I read Conor, and I said, “I can play this character,” and I went in for a few auditions, and surely enough, I booked it!

So many shows have teen kids or younger kids that are one note, and don’t get written for, but I feel like there are so many levels to this character, and I wondered what it’s been like to explore this character as the season’s gone on.
Oh yeah, you’ll definitely see a lot of different things with my character [laughs].  It’s funny – everyone always asks me like what’s going to happen, and I want to tell them.  But I can’t!! The next couple of episodes is when the show, in my opinion, really gets started.  It will be so big.  Once James Woods is involved soon, everything is going to be awesome!

You talk about these great names, Liev and Jon – working with them now, what is it like, as a young actor with these established-career actors?
They’re basically teaching me how to act, since it’s one of my first roles.  Taking me under their wing, and just being awesome.  We’re just one big family on set. They’re all really cool people.

What is a typical day like on set – when the cameras stop rolling, are you all able to shake the dysfunction of the Donovan family, or is that hard to shut off?
If there’s a big scene, a person will probably be “method” all day – usually, when we have scenes that aren’t so important, we always joke around in between the takes, and have a lot of fun.  We’re basically laughing all of the time.

It has to be good to be laughing all the time when the show goes to some dark places! 
Oh yeah

How do you compare RAY DONOVAN to other things that are on TV right now?
I don’t think it’s similar to anything I’ve ever seen before.  It’s pretty dark, and it’s amazing how every character is messed up in their own way.  It’s great.

Mickey has come back to the family, he wants to be a part of the family again.  But Ray is taking it as a long con – as a viewer, as a fan, what is your take on the Mickey character?
As a viewer, I would say that Mickey is just trying to get mad!

Viewers have responded so well – have you talked with fans, and gotten their responses?
People tweet me and tell me how they like the work.  I was at Comic Con not too long ago, and they were telling me how much they loved the show, so that was great.

Comic Con was insane this year!  Was it your first time going, or had you been there before?
Yeah it was!  I wanted to go last year, but I couldn’t, but this year, Showtime helped me get in.  It’s amazing.  People travel from around the world to go there!

You’re from San Diego – had you been downtown during Comic Con before this year?
Oh yeah, I have.  It’s crazy!  The traffic, the amount of people.  It’s crazy!

You mention that this is one of the first roles that you’ve had – what was it ultimately in the beginning, was there one thing you experienced where you said “I want to be an actor,” or was it a feeling overall of something you needed to do?
I wanted to be an actor since I was probably 4 or 5 years old.  I would beg my mom every day, and she finally said when your sister goes to college.  My sister finally went to college.   I was 12 when I started, and my sister went to college and I booked RAY DONOVAN.

It has be exciting to get into the business, and what a great role to start with!
It’s definitely probably the best thing I could have gotten.  They’re the best cast and crew, and I just love this character.  The business side of things is pretty fun, too, the auditions, I love it.

What I love about the show – there are so many places the show could go.  Have you had interaction with the writers where you talk about what you’d love to see for Conor?
They seem to always have me covered on storylines and tell me what’s going to happen in the next episode.  I think that’s the most exciting thing. They’re really nice to me.  Next season, they said I could go in the writers’’ room and figure stuff out with them.

Do you have interest in writing / directing?
Yes, I do, I love all that!

Are there roles you’d love to play?  What would you love to do?
I love most of the scripts that I read.  I’m pretty open to any character.  I just go and try to play that character.

RAY DONOVAN is a dark show, not much time for humor – what about comedy?  Would you love to throw your hat into a comedy ring?
I do wonder what it would be like to be on a comedy show.  It’s probably funny all the time, and you’re joking and working with great comedians.

You sound like you have such a good head on your shoulders – what advice do you have for younger actors?
I say just follow your dreams, and no matter how many times you get rejected, keep going.  If you think you can do it, you can probably do it!