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Octavius J. Johnson talks 'Ray Donovan'

Johnson plays Marvin Gaye Washington on Showtime's 'Ray Donovan'. He has been on the show since it debuted last year.
Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images

The second season of “Ray Donovan” is heating things up fast this summer and Octavius J. Johnson is having the time of his life being a part of all the twists and turns on the Showtime hit series. On the critically-acclaimed drama led by Liev Schreiber, Johnson plays fictional entertainer Marvin Gaye Washington, who is seen as the "Black Justin Bieber". Washington ends up on the wrong side of Ray Donovan (Schreiber) when he befriends his daughter, Bridget. And if you watch the show, you know Donovan's bad side is not the side you want to be on!

In a recent interview, Washington spoke about Marvin's relationship with Ray Donovan, what's ahead for his storyline this season, as well as why he thinks Marvin was dubbed as Justin Bieber!

On “Ray Donovan”, you play Marvin Gaye Washington, whois referred to as the black Justin Bieber.

Octavius – Yes. They're so funny how they related Marvin Gaye to Justin Bieber, and it was perfect timing because it was during the time that Justin Bieber started doing a lot of his new thing that he's doing. He's not the kid that he used to be, and Marvin happened to be like that. In that sense, I wonder if they related him to Justin for that reason. Originally, my character is a rapper and Justin Bieber isn't a rapper. I think the reference is that he was going to be the next hot thing and he does happen to be as you can see.

Let's talk about the dynamic between Marvin and Ray Donovan this season. We know Ray is not happy about Marvin's relationship with his daughter, Bridget.

Octavius- It left off in an unsettling situation. Marvin was just taken back to Compton and left there and it was also said that Ray Donovan put a gun in his mouth and told him not to do what he did to his daughter. Ray Donovan never interacts with Marvin as much because they're always sneaking around, but he does see him again. Ray Donovan comes home when Bridget and Marvin are trying to be sneaky. But Ray is just really trying to protect his daughter and he doesn't think Marvin would be helpful with that goal. He's just trying to keep him away- be a dad. And Marvin just wants what he wants. You'll see more of that.

We do know one character he gets along with is Re-Con (Kwame Patterson), who is a big time producer, we know he adopted Marvin.

Octavius- He's a big producer who lives in Calabasas who swept Marvin off his feet. He adopted Marvin because he saw the potential in him. He wanted to help him grow and expand his career. He adopted him right before Marvin's mom's death.

How do you think you have grown as an actor working on “Ray Donovan”? How has this been different for you in comparison with other roles you have played?

Octavius- Well, it's funny because my first role was in a movie called COLD WATER, and I played a hard-core character. And it's funny because he was more hard-core than Marvin Gaye. They're both inner city characters. The movie that I did it was way more intense than Marvin. Marvin, he's more of a charismatic kid, but he happens to be from Compton. He does mischievous things: he has bad language; he drinks, but he's charismatic. So, I have a history of playing these kids from the inner city so far. It's different because that's not me. I don't act like that so it was fun to go there.

Do you have a dream role? You're still so young, is there a character you would love to play or genre you would like to explore as an actor?

Octavius- Yes, that's a great question! I thought of my own original MAN ON FIRE role that Denzel Washington played. I made up my own original idea like that. I love that genre; that's one of my favorite movies. I want to be able to do everything: drama, Sci-Fi, action; comedy is so fun. I love it all. I just want to act and grow.

Anything else you would like to share?

Octavius- Follow me on Twitter because there's big things coming! Keep in touch with me. @OctaviusJ_OLord on Twitter.

"Ray Donovan" airs Sundays on Showtime.


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