Connie Britton Was ‘a Little Against’ Returning for ‘Nashville’ Series Finale at First
Connie Britton says her reappearance as Rayna Jaymes during the series finale of Nashville almost didn't happen. The actress admits she was "a little against" the idea -- until the show's creator, Callie Khouri, talked her into it.
"I thought, ‘Rayna’s gone. And I don’t like the idea of having her come back as a ghost,'" Britton tells TVLine (Rayna died following a car accident in Season 5). "Then [Callie] told me about the last moment on the Ryman stage, and I loved the idea of that. So we made it happen."
After six seasons, Nashville concluded on Thursday night (July 26) with a flashback scene featuring Rayna and her husband, Deacon Claybourne (Charles Esten), followed by a performance at the Grand Ole Opry that breaks the show's "fourth wall" to include the cast, some of the show's past stars and the crew. Marshall Herskovitz, Nashville's executive producer and one of its showrunners, says it "was a little bit tough" to work the filming into Britton's schedule -- but "everybody was thrilled" they made it happen.
"I think you’ll agree that that stage wouldn’t have been the same — especially the gang’s all here [number] — without Connie," says Esten.
The final scene featured, in addition to Britton and the cast members who appeared in Nashville's sixth and final season, Will Chase (who played Luke Wheeler), occasional guest star Pam Tillis and one of the show's former executive music producers, Buddy Miller, among others. "It went pretty deep," Herskovitz tells TVLine. "We were really thrilled ... The fact that they were all willing and excited to come back was just really gratifying.”
A live audience was on hand as the final scene was being filmed. Although they were sworn to secrecy, Herskovitz admits he's shocked nobody leaked the details.
"We just expected it to leak” he says.
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