Two Brothers, Two Lives, One Voice

What if you had an identical twin brother, but you didn’t know it?

What if this brother was a famous musician and you were being groomed by your pastor father to go into the ministry?

What if, no matter how hard you tried, you couldn’t suppress your own musical instincts – and eventually you ended up making a small living impersonating your famous brother? Two identical faces, two different paths, but ultimately one brotherly bond?

Such is the story of The Identical. Starring newcomers Blake Rayne (Ryan) and Erin Cottrell (Jenny), The Identical is a boy-meets-Jesus/boy-meets-girl/boy-meets-music love story about faith, despair and ultimate redemption. 

With Ray Liotta and Ashley Judge playing the roles of Ryan’s parents, this retro southern movie is more than food, tunes and honky tonks. It’s a romp through Ryan’s soul. As faith is for a Christian, so, too, is music for this young man.

The Interview sat down with Blake Rayne and Erin Cottrell to discuss how both factors played a part in the making of this movie, due out September 5.

Blake, as it turns out, was a perfect fit for this part. As a musician, who does a mean Elvis impression himself, Blake fell into the role of this Southern crooner like water on a duck. “I was in the studio recording some of my own music when it happened that one of the producers stopped in. A meeting was called and the rest was history.” 

Erin’s story had a similar tone to it. “I got the script and jumped into it after the first five pages,” she gushed. “I am so similar to the character of Jenny in my both my personal character and my marriage. I just knew I had to be a part of it.”

On Ashley Judd

“She was so Southern, and so helpful. She was also so very professional and warm,” complimented Blake about his on screen mama.

On Ray Liotta

Both actors admitted that working with the Academy Award winning actor, Ray Liotta, was surreal. 

“I was in a parking garage in Santa Monica when my agent called,” Blake confided, chuckling. “ ‘They cast your preacher father.’ ..  ’Cool,’ I answered, interested but not over thinking it. ‘Who is it?’… Short pause, then my agent said, ‘It’s Ray Liotta.’ I almost fainted.” 

Not only did Blake not faint, he went on to have a very healthy experience with the veteran actor. “Liotta was incredibly generous, supportive, and impeccable when it came to his acting approach,” he said. “His attention to detail made it incredibly encouraging to come to work.”

On Romance

Erin was quick to point out that filming the movie about that particular time period was very gratifying. “Things were slower,” she says. “There was time for romance. Everyone wasn’t on their phones. They were present.”

On Being Present

As a new mother herself - who had to leave the interview right on the dot to tend to her baby - Erin appreciated only too well the value of being in the moment – about not rushing everything. 

“There’s a very sweet scene where I’m at dinner with Blake (Ryan). It wasn’t like anything amazing happened – but then again, it was amazing – because it was this beautiful connection. Just talking… communicating. People don’t do that as much anymore.”

After digressing into a tangent about our instant gratification world of Facebook, Vine, Instagram and Twitter, both actors finished with nothing but positive accolades about their experience. 

“It was my first experience. Ray and Ashley taught me so much. I am forever grateful,” remarked Blake. “I did the work and gave it all I could.”

When asked if he caught the acting bug, he didn’t hesitate, “Oh, I had it before,” he quipped. “But now, I really have it.”

For a first time actor in a major motion picture, it’s clear he has a full blown case. His performance was engaging, intimate and so very charming. 

The Identical Trailer

Check out the official trailer here

Additional Clips


See the Movie This Weekend!

The Identical is in theatres on Friday, September 5th. 


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