Nashville fans rejoiced earlier this year when CMT announced they'd be bringing the show back for a fifth season. As arguably the lead star of the series, Connie Britton's return as Rayna Jaymes felt integral to the show's new episodes. In a recent interview with The New York Times, Britton confirmed her love for Nashville, and what Season 5 will mean for her character going forward. And most importantly, Britton talked about owning her age onscreen in Nashville and her words are completely inspiring.
The show's move to CMT from ABC was always going to require some changes. As Britton told NYT,
"It was complete rebooting and, quite honestly, it was necessary. I did feel to some degree that the show had gone in a direction where we were losing a lot of what the subject matter can provide."
It's interesting to hear that Nashville's lead was ready for the series to be rebooted, and it sounds as if the changes are what's kept Britton on board and so invested in her character. But it's the Friday Night Lights actor's words about Rayna's constant reinvention, and the power there is in playing an aging woman onscreen, which are so important to hear.
The most exciting part of Britton's interview with NYT is when the actor broaches the subject of age. Often a difficult topic for performers to confront, Britton's stance is powerful, because she's so honest. The actor that plays Rayna Jaymes said,
"I’m not interested in playing over-the-hill. I’m not interested in playing irrelevant. I want to depict characters who are getting better with age. That sounds like such a cliché, but all the women I know who are in their 40s are awesome and sexy and so smart and have life experience that you cannot duplicate. And this show is really a great opportunity to push back on the idea."
As the entertainment industry all too often relegates incredible actors like Britton to stereotypical female roles, it's perfect that Nashville provides an alternative story line. By refusing to conform, the American Horror Story star is attempting to create content for women that matters and accurately reflects the lives they're living right now.
And when it comes to the character of Rayna Jaymes, Britton completely has her back. In fact, it sounds like Britton is personally responsible for much of Rayna's strength, and without the actor on board, the role could've been completely different. Britton said, "When the show first came out, there was a lot of marketing going on — 'Rayna Jaymes, the fading country music star.' And I have fought it every step of the way, because I’m like, 'Absolutely not.'" Instead, Britton continues to prove that Rayna is very much the star of the show with her age and wisdom being important assets.
With Britton on board, Nashville's move to CMT feels extremely strong. Her staunch opinions about the portrayal of women on television makes her the perfect person to play the iconic role of Rayna Jaymes.
Images: ABC/CMT; Giphy