Liev Schreiber once said, through those chunky jowls of his, that he'd make only three seasons of Ray Donovan. Thankfully, he changed his mind.

The dark family drama returns for its fourth season on SoHo next week, and as Donovan, a troubled family man and fixer for Hollywood's elite, Schreiber is front and centre.

Despite his confessional at the end of season three, things aren't getting much better for him: this season involves Donovan delving into the murky world of human trafficking as his dad Mickey goes on the run. There's also an unplanned pregnancy to deal with.

There are new characters too, with Lisa Bonet and Ismael Cruz Cordova joining the cast as a professional boxer and his sister. But it's Schreiber who drives the show as the silent, violent Donovan, a man whose lifestyle is slowly wearing him and his family down.

Advertisement

There are parallels there to Schreiber's own life: he films in Los Angeles but his family lives in New York, with his 16-18 hour days perhaps explaining why he once wanted to make only three seasons.

He recently told Ellen DeGeneres he sees his children so infrequently he's been watching them grow up through Skype.

"It's tough, the kids are at that age where you want them to have continuity with friends and school," he said.

"You've gotta put them first. It's hard on me most," he explained. If this is the last we see of Donovan, it's been a hell of a ride.

Tune in

Where:

SoHo

When:

Tuesday, 8.30pm; Encores screen on Thursdays, 7.30pm

What:

Hollywood's seedy underbelly revealed