Home / Entertainment / Nashville Producer Explains Rayna’s — and Connie Britton’s! — Shocking Exit (Plus What’s Next)

Nashville Producer Explains Rayna’s — and Connie Britton’s! — Shocking Exit (Plus What’s Next)


A chronicle of this essay creatively seemed on EW.com.

Nashville might have mislaid a unequivocally splendid star, though as they say: a uncover contingency go on. Below showrunner Marshall Herskovitz sum to EW a impulse Connie Britton told him she wanted to leave a CMT series, how he and a writers assembled Rayna’s distressing exit, and explains what comes subsequent for Nashville now that Britton is exiting a show.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So we and Ed Zwick pitched your prophesy of Nashville to ABC, afterwards a uncover was canceled, afterwards CMT picked it up. What happened subsequent with Connie?
Marshall Herskovitz: It was unequivocally simple. And we consider Connie should pronounce to this [note: she does in EW’s speak posted Thursday night]. She pronounced to me — with a lot of pain and problem — that she wants to pierce on with her life. She said, “I adore a show, we adore this cast, we adore these characters, though I’ve been doing this for 4 years and we feel like we need to pierce on.” She pronounced it with some clarity of better given she was contractually firm to do another deteriorate and didn’t know what to do. we pronounced to her what I’ve always pronounced to actors: “I never wish to be in a conditions where I’m constrained somebody to do something they don’t wish to do. If we don’t wish to be on a show, let us find a proceed to write we out that’s cool and loyal to a character.” And she was relieved. She usually wanted to go. It wasn’t about money. It was a artistic need on her partial to face new challenges. Which we totally know and respect.

We spent about a week perplexing to figure out a proceed for a impression to leave a uncover and still be alive, though there’s usually no proceed to do it — Rayna would never not be in hit with Deacon and a children, unless she were being hold by a Taliban or a unfolding so absurd nobody would believe. She couldn’t usually be on tour. We satisfied — as unhappy and unpleasant as it was — that there was usually one answer: The impression had to die. But from an artistic standpoint that was filled with promise. We felt a usually proceed to do this was unequivocally try it and give it time so a fans could work by all a feelings that it evokes.

As we say, there were many ways to go down this road. What finished this trail — carrying a automobile collision final week and afterwards Rayna failing in a sanatorium this week — a best choice?
I consider it was time. When we have a impression people feel as strongly about as Rayna, we wanted to provoke a startle of her death. If during a finish of a stalker partial she’s in an collision and usually dies — “Oh sorry! Rayna’s dead” — that’s usually vicious to an audience; that’s not caring about their feelings. We took a play to take an whole partial and speak about and travel around and solemnly proceed a thought that this person’s going to die.

And median by it, a assembly thinks she’s going to lift through. And we do this red herring of teasing a thought that maybe it’s indeed Juliette who has some undiagnosed deadly medical issue.
Well, yes, nonetheless we consider that’s open to interpretation. There is a probability Juliette is in trouble. But to me, that’s some-more a phenomenon of her regard about herself. In some ways that represents all of us going about a daily lives worrying about things that aren’t going to be significant, while there are other people worrying about life and death. That’s not to lessen Juliette — we consider she represents all of us in a proceed — though she jumps to apocalyptic conclusions about herself when something indeed apocalyptic is function to somebody else. But you’re right. There is wish in a episode, and nonetheless there is this impulse when her mom comes to her, and during that impulse we consider a assembly is going to go, “Well, wait a minute, that’s not a good sign.” Certainly, Deacon says conference that unequivocally frightened him, it’s like a white light and people-from-beyond calling. But in my mind, Rayna knows she’s failing in that moment. Even if a doctors say, “It’s okay, it’s usually a drugs,” from that impulse if we watch delicately all she does has an coercion to it to explain to a people she loves a things she wants them to know. Because she knows she’s going.

I adore a line we gave Rayna’s ghost-mom, “Maybe this strain is finished.”
Thank you. Not my line, though we adore that scene. And we adore that Carla Gugino came and did it. She lent a kind of gravitas to it. It usually all came together in a poetic proceed that finished we feel insinuate with these characters.

What was it like sharpened that final teary scene?
Basically a whole expel and organisation cried for a whole episode. And we know that Callie Khouri, who was directing a episode, told me Maisy Stella, who plays Daphne, during one indicate when they were doing a genocide scene, after it was like a 19th take she said, “I can’t trust we still have tears to cry.” Everyone was so emotional. There’s one shot during a unequivocally finish when she flatlines, a girls roar and Deacon puts his conduct down on her, and he’s got this closeup, this rip comes out of his eye, though we see this man’s face he looks broken. Charles Esten should win an Emmy for that shot — that was a male who gave himself over to everything. There was no cunning or zero hold back. It gets me any time.

Before that stage too, when Deacon started to comprehend things were going south and started to crack, Esten’s opening unequivocally grabbed me too.
He’s something else; such a gifted man. We have so many in a expel who are.

I know we don’t like to plead destiny storylines, though do we wish to provoke to a flashbacks of Rayna that will occur this season?
I can contend there will be a few flashbacks. That goes to a heart of a fact that when somebody dies they’re still so benefaction in your life. Our middle lives are as abounding and full as a outdoor lives, and in a middle lives a chairman is still there.

How does a uncover pierce brazen though a star?
Shows always pierce forward. Grey’s Anatomy changed forward. Thirtysomething moved brazen after Gary died. This is such a abounding expel and such a abounding organisation of characters there’s so many good stories to tell. We’re already low into a essay and producing of a second half a deteriorate and there are so many good stories. And by a way, some are about a detriment of Rayna and a cost people pay. But a uncover of Nashville is a world, it’s not about one person. As good as Connie is and Rayna was, it was never usually one person. What people will find as they routine their feelings — and maybe fans will be indignant during us or during her for this function — though they’ll find a fabric of a uncover some-more than holds. It’s still this colourful ardent artistic star of people who live their lives in a proceed that has a glow underneath it. That’s always been a heart of Nashville. It’s always vacant me given we came on house that we can do a uncover about creativity, about what it means to be an artist. It’s about a artistic routine and spin their feelings into art, and afterwards a uncover shares that art with a assembly — that is also communal. It’s indeed not a problem during all to continue. We’ll skip her, a characters skip her, and she’s missed in a stories, though a uncover is totally intact.

You pitched a prophesy of a deteriorate to ABC before we knew she wanted to leave. So I’m curious: What would Rayna have finished this deteriorate in that swap star had predestine not intervened?
Oh my god. First of all, let me usually say, it’s so tough to make adult stories. It usually is. Ed Zwick calls it “breaking rock.” It’s been tough adequate to figure out these stories though what we would have done. We were positively meditative of this whole idea of Ranya perplexing to retrieve her artistic core and I’m certain that would have played a bigger partial had she not died. I’m certain she would have taken artistic chances and a story would have come from that.

Anything else you’d like a readers to know?
I consider a best partial we’ve finished this year is a one that follows her funeral. we would put that partial opposite any I’ve finished in my whole career. It’s an startling sonorous pleasing reverence to this lady and tellurian tie and grief. That’s one we wish nobody misses. It unequivocally goes to a heart of what it means for people to be truly connected to any other.

Nashville airs Thursdays on CMT.

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