‘Nashville’ Shocker Explained: Connie Britton Opens Up About Devastating Ending

[This story contains large spoilers from a “If Tomorrow Never Comes” partial of Nashville.]

Connie Britton’s Nashville song is over.

During Thursday’s hour, heading lady Britton’s nation song luminary Rayna James, surrounded by family and friends, died after complications from injuries suffered in a automobile crash.

For Friday Night Lights alum Britton, a preference to leave was hers and had been percolating before a nation song soap was canceled during ABC and subsequently regenerated during CMT.

Below, Britton talks with The Hollywood Reporter about her preference to exit a series, conversations with creator Callie Khouri as good as showrunners Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick about since Rayna had to die and what she’d like to do for her subsequent act.

Was it your preference to leave Nashville?

It was my decision. It was something that, for several reasons, had been percolating for me. What was unequivocally critical to me was that it felt like a right time. This summer, when a uncover went to CMT, it felt plain and stable. When Marshall came in, we had a review and he came adult with a approach this story would lay out. We both concluded — and we pronounced to him that what was many critical to me was that we unequivocally do probity and respect a impression and all of these characters and a universe that we’ve been vital in for these final 5 years.

What stirred your enterprise to leave? Did that arise before or after ABC’s cancellation?

There were a lot of opposite factors that played into it; it was a accumulative thing. we don’t need to go into good fact about what that was nonetheless for me, it felt like a timing was critical and my No. 1 priority was a uncover and origination certain that it was finished in a right way.

There had been rumors for a few months that we would have a reduced role. Why leave now, during a median point, vs. finish of this season?

When we talked about it with Marshall, [the producers] were looking during a deteriorate in hint as dual truncated seasons. Marshall felt story-wise, that this was a unequivocally good approach to go. It allows them to use a second partial of a season, that is going to feel like a whole apart chunk, as a post-Rayna epoch or moment. It done clarity story-wise.

Would we have returned for a second half of a deteriorate if that’s what Marshall’s story dictated? Or did we wish a reduced array of episodes?

I would and we told him that. He’s poetic and worked diligently to try to make this feel like a current depart for this character. we pronounced during one point, “I could stay on!” we left that doorway open and we don’t know in what capacity, if ever, that could unequivocally happen. Marshall was perplexing to be unequivocally deferential of me and we was deferring to what they were perplexing to do for a story. To some degree, a uncover contingency go on. And each singular one of these characters is impossibly dear by a fans and essential to a universe of Nashville. we consider it’s unequivocally going to be sparkling and pleasing to see them go on in that world.

Will we watch a second half of a season?

I’m not unequivocally good during examination it now! we substantially will watch it some-more since I’ll have some-more time! (Laughing.)

Hypothetically, if Nashville had been renewed during ABC, would we have felt that same enterprise to pierce on?

Yes. It unequivocally wasn’t about being on ABC or CMT during all. None of a logic behind it had anything to do with network.

Looking during filming these final few romantic scenes, what was a hardest partial of all these farewells with everyone?

It was impossibly emotional. It was unequivocally formidable for me and it still is. It’s tough for me to speak about though removing a small choked adult [pauses] … since we adore this impression so many and a people I’ve been advantageous to act with for a final 5 years and a crew. This has turn an essential partial of my life. It was unequivocally tough doing those final integrate weeks especially. Those scenes were so emotional. Toward a final integrate days, that is when we shot a unequivocally heated scenes in a ICU and a one where Rayna indeed dies, nobody could get by them though crying. Saying goodbye is unequivocally hard.

What was your final day like on set?

My final stage of a final day of a partial where Rayna dies — that in hint was a finish even nonetheless we did come behind and fire some-more after that — that stage and putting this impression that I’m so connected with to rest was heartless and unequivocally emotional. The final stage that we shot of that partial was indeed a stage of Rayna with her mom [played by Carla Gugino]. Carla is my best crony and she came in to play Rayna’s mom and that was so special and wonderful. The favourite of Rayna’s life is her mom and we unequivocally adore that scene. So to have this dear crony be there and have that be a final stage we shot was unequivocally beautiful.

Did we ask Carla to come in?

I did and she jumped in, as good friends do. It was unequivocally conspicuous for me and we feel so advantageous that that happened.

There are dual episodes left in this initial half of a season. How many some-more episodes will we be in after this?

At slightest a couple.

Hypothetically, should we know brazen of time that Nashville is ending, would we lapse for a array finale?  

Sure! Absolutely!

What will we skip many about Nashville and personification Rayna?

There’s a lot that I’m going to miss. I’m going to skip operative with all those people since we unequivocally adore them all: Chip Esten, a Stellas and each singular actor and member of a crew. And I’m going to skip a crazy highlight and afterwards prerogative of singing since that partial of it was a good plea and we feel propitious that we got to do it.

Was there a review with possibly a showrunners or creator Callie Khouri about murdering Rayna off? Was that always a plan? Did we wish her to die?

I indeed said, “Is there a approach to do this where she doesn’t die?” But we suspicion about it and Callie, too, and we satisfied that Rayna would never leave her children or Deacon. So there unequivocally wasn’t any other alternative. Trust me, if there had been that would have been my preference! (Laughing.)

When we knew a finish of your time on a uncover was near, did we have any special requests for Rayna?

I wanted to be means to spend some time observant Rayna and Deacon married and exploring what that felt like. Like final deteriorate they got married and immediately went into predicament mode so we never got to see a good prerogative of all this time that led adult to this pleasing matrimony moment. we wanted to be means to spend a bit of time observant what married life did to them. we utterly desired a suspicion of Rayna and Deacon essay together and removing behind to being artists together and what it looks like to be married as artists and operative together as artists and what a conflicts are there and what a value of that is to them and all those complexities.

Looking back, do we feel a clarity of closure with Rayna?

I do. That was something that was unequivocally critical to me. It’s tough to contend goodbye. It’s funny, a dress engineer Susie DeSanto, who has designed all a implausible costumes over these final 5 years, she was wailing in a final partial that, “This isn’t Rayna! Rayna needs to be wearing sparkles!” we did consider that it would have been good to get one some-more impulse of that in there in observant goodbye to her. But we do feel that we were means to do probity to her and to do probity many importantly to a family. The final goodbye with Chip, Lennon and Maisy was such a pleasing moment. They are as many a partial of Rayna as Rayna is.

Did we keep anything from a set?

I will acknowledge there competence be an essay or dual of wardrobe that we swiped! Rayna has had a many implausible wardrobe! In a pilot, there’s a stage on a overpass between Deacon and Rayna and she’s wearing a leather embossed belt that says “I adore you” and I’ve always desired it. We’ve integrated it and I’ve ragged it several times via a seasons. we took that. 

Rayna’s genocide brings a uncover full round in a way: Juliette is now a star looking to recover her form and Maddie is a rising star. Was that partial of what your discussions with Marshall and Callie about how Rayna’s genocide would impact a uncover relocating forward?

I didn’t have as many to contend about that only since we always feel that a writers are going to have many improved ideas than we have! It unequivocally wasn’t for me to say. we don’t feel like there’s going to be one rising star. It’s an implausible garb and we know they are going to be means to do smashing things with all those characters. 

You’re removing a lot of comedy offers this promote commander deteriorate and are always in direct for film. What’s subsequent for you?

I don’t unequivocally know yet. we wish to take a exhale for a second. I’ve been operative in network radio now for 10 years true though a mangle and in a center of that, we adopted my son. we competence take a small exhale nonetheless we also adore operative and there are a integrate of eccentric film things that I’m vehement about. On a TV side, we would unequivocally adore to do something starting during a origination and operative adult and would like to start from a growth angle on that. I’m looking into that a small bit and am only unequivocally open to anything. 

Would we do promote again or is cable/streaming some-more attractive?

I’m some-more meddlesome in something that isn’t utterly such a severe schedule, however that manifests! (Laughs.) Beyond that, I’m unequivocally open.

Have we suspicion about rising a prolongation company? Or signing an altogether understanding somewhere?

I really have suspicion of all that, utterly a prolongation company. That’s something that’s unequivocally engaging to me. All of it, for sure, nonetheless we do adore a artistic side and we adore starting it from a belligerent up. We’ll see.

You worked with Ryan Murphy on deteriorate one of American Horror Story and on American Crime Story. Has he reached out to we about anything specific?

He hasn’t nonetheless we know Ryan! I’ll always go behind and work with Ryan. we would adore to do that during some point, if a right thing comes adult for him. 

What did we consider of Rayna’s death? Will we skip Britton and Rayna on Nashville? Sound off in a comments section, below. Check behind to THR on Friday for an talk with Nashville co-showrunner Herskovitz.