Safety is a movie coming to Disney+ that is based on the heartwarming true story of former Clemson cornerback, Ray-Ray McElrathbey and his younger brother, Fahmarr. I recently spoke with the cast, as well as Ray, about the film.
If you are a fan of college football, especially Clemson football, then you probably know the name Ray-Ray McElrathbey. His brother, Fahmarr came to visit him at Clemson — and didn’t leave for a month because of problems at home.
Ray-Ray didn’t want his brother growing up in a home with a mother with addiction problems, so he petitioned to get a waiver that allowed him to receive help. Help financially, and in terms of rides that took Fahmarr to school while Ray Ray attended classes and practice, from coaches and the Clemson community.
Disney+ Safety Movie Press Junket
Ray-Ray’s incredible story inspired the Disney+ Original Movie, Safety, and in support of the film, I attended a press junket with many of the actors in the movie, as well as Ray-Ray! We got some behind the scenes information on this inspiring and heartwarming film.
- Jay Reeves (“Ray (Ray-Ray)”)
- Thaddeus J. Mixson II (“Fahmarr (Fay)”)
- Corinne Foxx (“Kaycee”)
- Hunter Sansone (“Daniel Morelli”)
- Reginald Hudlin (Director)
- Mark Ciardi (Producer)
- Ray-Ray McElrathbey (Real life person the story is based on)
Watch the full press junket for Disney+’s Safety movie below where you can get to know the cast and behind the scenes information.
Disney+’s Safety Movie Fun Facts
There were so many great moments in this interview, but if I had to choose my favorite fun facts about filming, and the behind the scenes for this film, these would be it.
- Corinne Foxx‘s character Kaycee is actually based on a few ladies that Ray-Ray knew in college — there wasn’t just one “Kaycee”.
- The first question Jay Reeves asked Ray McElratheby when he met him is what High School he went to.
- A scene in the movie (no spoilers) was actually shot at Clemson, in the stadium, at halftime of a game.
- Clemson embraced the film crew and actors from the very beginning, and were very supportive of the making of Safety.
- Ray McElratheby says that it is a surreal experience to have a movie made about it. And a wonderful experience, more than anything.
- Thaddeus J. Mixson II didn’t know that Safety is a movie based on a true story until he arrived on set.
- Hunter Sansone says that him and Jay Reeves had chemistry from day one.
- Corinne Foxx was attracted to the role of Kaycee because she has two younger sisters, and says she would do absolutely anything for them. Much like Ray-Ray did for Fahmarr.
- Reginald Hudlin says it was invaluable to have Ray involved in the entire process and on set — for his sake, and the sake of the cast.
- A lot was taken out of the final cut — they had to go from three hours to two hours! Ray McElratheby says that most of what was cut, was changes from his real story.
- Mark Ciardi got the rights to Ray’s story right when it happened, back in 2006. He saw the national pieces on ESPN and ABC, and The Oprah Winfrey Show, and was really moved by it.
- Safety was set up with another studio to film back in 2006. They even developed a screenplay, but it just didn’t happen. But when Disney+ announced their platform a few years ago, Mark Ciardi brought the pitch to them, and they thought it would be a great fit.
“Safety” is a drama inspired by the empowering story of former Clemson University football safety Ray McElrathbey (Jay Reeves), a young man facing a series of challenging circumstances, whose dedication and persistence help him to triumph over repeated adversities. Aided by his teammates and the Clemson community, he succeeds on the field while simultaneously raising and caring for his 11-year-old brother Fahmarr (Thaddeus J. Mixson).