Alan Alda Previews Dr. Amiot's Pivotal Role in 'Ray Donovan' Season 7

Ileane Rudolph
Q&A Jeff Neumann/SHOWTIME

Troubled fixer to the stars Ray Donovan (Liev Schreiber) might be a tougher therapy patient than Tony Soprano, so expect Ray's analyst, Dr. Arthur Amiot (Alan Alda), to do serious digging for the truth in Season 7 of Ray Donovan.

Multiple Emmy winner Alda, currently also in the hot film Marriage Story, shares some (ahem) insights.

What kind of breakthrough is Amiot looking for with angry, violent Ray?

Alan Alda: Ray jumped from a building and tried to drown himself in the river, so a good start would be to get him not interested in killing himself. But the more he comes back, the more he can use his own desire to make things better.

Does Ray want to be a better person for his family's sake?

He does. He's been wounded by abuse of various kinds since childhood and doesn't regard himself as worthy. My guess is he needs to come to terms with his abuse and realize he is not to blame for how he responded.

'Ray Donovan' Sneak Peek: The Donovans and Sullivans Clash in Season 7 (VIDEO)

'Ray Donovan' Sneak Peek: The Donovans and Sullivans Clash in Season 7 (VIDEO)

The fixer and family work on mending bonds when adversaries from their past return.

How important to the drama is Dr. Amiot?

I’m in almost every episode. Each session has a thread that has bearing on the rest of the story.

You've played docs many times: The Big C, ER, And the Band Played On and M*A*S*H. Is that to do with your love for science?

I mostly play people who wear suits because I don't look so good in a loincloth. [Laughs] But those roles all have to do with communicating and relating better. That's what my podcast, Clear + Vivid, is about as well.   

(Credit: Jeff Neumann/SHOWTIME)

Do you think your hit M*A*S*H would be too cynical for broadcast today? Would it be on cable or streaming instead?

I never thought of it as that cynical — maybe that means I'm cynical — I just think it was realistic. If it were a cable show, it would probably be even darker.

What are you watching?

My wife and I binge mostly on wonderful foreign shows on Netflix, like Shtisel from Israel, Broadchurch from England and Borgen from Denmark.

Ray Donovan, Season 7 Premiere, Sunday, November 17, 8/7c, Showtime