WARNING!! Spoilers upon SPOILERS ahead, so if you are not caught up on Nashville, save this page, go watch the episode, and come back IMMEDIATELY!
This is your FINAL WARNING!
Nashville just delivered one of the most heartbreaking scenes in television history with the death of Connie Britton’s character, Rayna James. While James’ death might feel like a total shock, Britton’s exit has been much discussed for months, but fans were DEVASTATED all the same.
Britton spoke exclusively with Entertainment Weekly about her character’s death, as well as her exit from the popular CMT drama. She explained why she was ready to depart from Nashville, saying with the new direction of the show, and the passion fans have for the characters, she felt that the show would be “in a good place and this would be the time to start talking about Rayna’s departure.” She wanted to do the character “justice,” because Rayna meant so much to her.
Britton explained how difficult it was shooting that final scene. “We could not get through it. Those blessed girls — who I love with every ounce of my being — they could not get through the song. I don’t know how many takes we did where they couldn’t sing more than three words of the song. It took awhile. I’m laying there, supposedly dying, and I had tears pouring down my cheeks. It was a very tough week. There were a lot of tears all around. The crew, as well.”
Britton knows the fans were the driving force behind Nashville getting picked by CMT, and wanted to give them one final message about not only Rayna, but how characters effect and influence all our lives. “The spirit of Rayna lives on forever and I’m always going to have a strong interest and love for the show. We never know what the future holds in terms of how a character can make an influence, so I would say, ‘Love this show, love these characters, and keep watching’ — because that spirit is always going to be a part of the show, and these amazing Nashville characters are going to live on.”