Alex Karpovsky Reacts to Ray’s Wakeup Call
The series' skeptic examines Ray's sensitive side, and what brought his relationship to an end.
How do you feel about Ray’s storyline throughout the series?
I think he’s got a pretty pronounced arc. When we first see Ray, he has all of this anger, cynicism, resentment and quick judgment. We don’t really know where it’s coming from, and how it is shackling him. In Season 2 we start to explore the underpinnings and not only what he wants to do, but also how these unresolved issues are preventing him from doing what he wants to do. Then we start having fun with him bumping into different mistakes as he, in a cumbersome way, tries to fulfill whatever he feels makes him happier and worthwhile. I feel like he’s had a really amazing journey over the course of the seasons, dipping into being likeable and not likeable.
Was Hermie’s death a wakeup call for Ray?
It really rattles him. It puts a lot of things into very stark focus, and brings a lot of things he was putting off existentially into high relief. It also punctuates his semi-dormant relationship with mortality and purpose, and “What the f**k are we doing here?”
How does Hermie’s death make Ray reexamine his relationship with Marnie?
It makes him reexamine what he feels is significant and important to him -- what will allow him to become a more mature and thoughtful person versus the things holding him back. He feels Marnie is in the latter camp.
She doesn’t really get him. She seems to be more self-involved, much more interested in fitness than listening to what Ray has to say. Ray can also be self-involved, but ultimately two self-involved people don’t make a relationship work. Hermie’s death is definitely a catalyst. The breakup would have happened anyway, but this expedited the process.
Is there a character you wish Ray had interacted with more?
I really like Jenny Slate’s character, Tally Schifrin. She was such a weirdo and had so many problems. I was kind of curious if she and Ray crossed paths what would happen? Would they fall for one another? Would they have a nice conversation? Would they immediately repel one another? That was something that crossed my mind.
What was it like working on the finale season?
It was bittersweet. I really love working on the show, I love my character, and Lena made everything fun. She really made a point to include all of us creatively in how our arcs and scenes unfolded. I didn’t just feel like an actor saying lines, but a participant in the process, someone who would help express her idea for the show. It was really fulfilling to work on a show that's able to weave in some sort of cultural conversation. To raise and probe issues that are not usually explored is pretty amazing, and to do that for six years is something I will always be proud of.