Ray McKinnon Q&A: ‘Rectify’ creator
The SundanceTV drama series "Rectify" tells the story of Daniel Holden (Aden Young), who is released from death row after new DNA evidence comes to light, but the audience doesn't know for sure if Daniel is innocent. Even Daniel isn't certain. How about series creator Ray McKinnon – does he know? "I'm going to take the fifth on that one," he says. "I don't want to incriminate myself by speaking about something that he or I may or may not have done, so at this time I'm going to refer all of those questions to my lawyer."
Whether or not Daniel turns out to be guilty, he has earned the unconditional support of TV critics. Last summer's second season earned a 92 score on MetaCritic, and Young recently picked up a Critics' Choice nomination for Best Drama Actor. Additionally, McKinnon earned a Writers Guild nomination last year for the episode "Donald the Normal" along with co-writer Kate Powers. And the series was just honored with a Peabody Award; that announcement came in April in advance of the May 31 ceremony in New York City.
"It's hard to believe I came from a little town in Georgia, and when things like that happen … I can't help but remember where I came from and be a little still full of wonder about how I got here," he says of the awards attention, which he admits is why he's little "distrustful" whenever he's singled out for recognition.
Learning about the Peabody Award elicited an especially "complicated response" from McKinnon, because at the time he was "in the middle of trying to figure out season three … so while the Peabodys are recognizing what we've done in season two, I'm really neurotic about season three, so I don't think I can truly enjoy or experience the magnitude of this honor at this particular moment. I think one day I'll be able to sit back and realize it more fully. It is a great honor."
But it's not his first great honor. Back in 2001 he won an Oscar for Best Live-Action Short for his film "The Accountant." He was in his 40s at the time, and he had wanted to direct a movie since he was in his 20s, but "I could never, for lots of reasons, summon up the courage and the passion and the faith to make that happen. And with the help of my wife [and producer Lisa Blount] and [producer and co-star] Walton Goggins, I was able to finally make a movie at that ripe old age … It's been life-changing for sure, but it also led to me continuing to tell stories … and that's what's happening right now. That's a great life to live."