Published on December 11th, 2020 | by Dr. Jerry Doby


Getting to Know Jay Reeves, Star of Disney’s New Original Film ‘Safety’

We’ve all been seeing the promo for the epic new Disney movie Safety which is an inspirational story of family taking care of family despite all odds. It’s the true story of Clemson football standout Ray McElrathbey who shouldered the responsibility of taking care of his pre-teen brother at the same time he was fighting for a spot on the football team at one of the country’s most esteemed colleges. Can you imagine two-a-day practices, team meetings, and the rigorous demands of being a student-athlete while at the same time caring full time for a young child? It’s a daunting task most would find nearly if not impossible except for the insane drive to succeed that is ingrained in a very special few.

Disney’s “Safety” stars Jay Reeves (ALL AMERICAN) and is a drama inspired by the empowering story of former Clemson University safety Ray McElrathbey, a young man facing a series of challenging circumstances, whose dedication and persistence help him to triumph over repeated adversities. Aided by his teammates and the Clemson community, he succeeds on the field while simultaneously raising and caring for his 11-year-old brother Fahmarr.

We wanted to know more about the talented Jay Reeves who plays the leading role in this new film and so we caught up with him despite his busy schedule to have him weigh in on a few things.

From the outside looking in, who is Jay Reeves? 

A mogul, a monster,  no I’m just kidding around haha. From the outside looking in, Jay Reeves is a modern day Renaissance man. A fun, down to earth creative who is using his talents for a purpose. I would hope that people would see me as a role model, a friend, a jokester, a natural vibe curator, and, of course, a hard-working actor who puts in a lot of time.

Was there a defining moment that brought you to the acting world?

Around 2016, I found myself in my grandmother’s house with nothing to do and no career choice. I was borrowing the neighbor’s Wi-Fi and using that to watch movies and films and study entertainers just for fun.  After watching countless hours of television,  my passion for the arts grew and led me to move to Hollywood to make it a career.

Tell us about your role as Ray in the new Disney film Safety

I play real-life hero Ray McElrathbey. Ray took on the responsibility for his younger brother when their mother fell into despair with substance abuse. Ray raised his brother on campus while playing on the Clemson Tigers football team as a Safety. I didn’t know much of anything going into this role, or about Ray’s story, but to prepare, I dove into it and did my homework. I researched him, I watched all his videos, I looked at his highlights, I found him on Instagram. I did everything I possibly could to have as much information about the role going into the audition process.

Who was the biggest joker on the set and what made them so funny?

Thaddeus, who plays my little brother, was the biggest joker on set and given his age, I was not surprised. He was 100% genuine and made us all laugh. He was a lot of fun to be around. He was also very professional and hardworking even though he’s young.

What’s been your craziest WTF experience thus far in your career?

Booking a lead role in a Disney film has been my craziest WTF moment!  Disney is such an incredible, huge company, and the fact that I was able to work with them has been such a blessing. It’s life-changing honestly, just to know that I’m now a part of such a remarkable team. Speaking to Hype Magazine is a dream come true!

What’s next for Jay Reeves?

I am a workhorse, so I’m looking forward to more opportunities and more challenging roles. I will also be releasing new music and videos in the new year. I am working with some amazing engineers and producers so hopefully, we can provide some new flavors for your ears.


Featured Image: Jay Reeves as Ray Ray in SAFETY, exclusively on Disney+. (Photo Credit: Chuck Zlotnik) © 2020 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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About the Author

Editor-in-Chief of The Hype Magazine, Media and SEO Consultant, Journalist, Ph.D. and retired combat vet. 2023 recipient of The President's Lifetime Achievement Award. Partner at THM Media Group. Member of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture, the United States Press Agency and ForbesBLK.

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