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Connie Britton on Hollywood, Nashville and Aging

Connie Britton on Hollywood, Nashville and Aging

If you are a regular reader of Women and Hollywood, you know that we are big fans of Connie Britton here. We love her as Rayna James in Callie Khouri’s Nashville and Tami Taylor is one of our all-time favorite female TV characters.

Last week when The New York Times published a profile on Britton it reaffirmed everything that we already love about her. Britton discusses getting a late start in Hollywood and the pain of losing the lead role in Jerry Maguire to Renee Zellweger.

Jeff Reiner, who directed Britton in Friday Night Lights, says that “Connie doesn’t lie dormant very well. You have to give her something to do. She was inspiring, and sometimes she could be a pain.”  How come strong women with a purpose always get labeled as difficult or a pain.  It’s good she stood up for herself because that is what makes her characters so great.

Britton was at first nervous taking on the role of Rayna James, afraid that Nashville could slip into typical soap opera territory. The good news is that Britton has a partner in creator Callie Khouri and she goes to Khouri if she feels that her character is slipping into typical network crap. Britton is one of the producers on Nashville and will push back whenever she feels it is necessary. One example was from the pilot when Britton refused pulling her face back mimicking what she would look like with a face lift. 

Britton also doesn’t like the references to Rayna James as an “aging country star” especially since for Britton, her own life “started being awesome five years ago.”

She says she would never refer to herself as old (because she’s in her early 40s so she is not old) and she has an incredible sense of humor about aging especially the societal notion that women lose their sex appeal as they age.

…Frankly I’ve had a different experience, as a single woman. Younger men and all that. Let’s put it this way: The older you get, the easier it is to date younger men. There are more of them.

Nashville has just begun airing in the U.K. and airs on ABC Wednesday nights at 10pm.

Connie Britton Is a Late Bloomer (The New York Times)

Nashville: at last, a drama whose female leads feel grownup and real (The Guardian)

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