Unpopular opinion coming in 5…4…3…2…
I will start by saying this. I am a HUGE fan of Connie Britton. Especially as “Rayna Jaymes.” I can easily say that she is 90-something percent of the reason I watch Nashville and 100-something percent of why I get random smacks upside the head from my wife as we watch. So if anyone certainly doesn’t want to see her character depart from Music City, it’s me.
Right now, it’s difficult to believe much of what we read online. The “buzz” now is that Connie is signed on for 10 episodes of this upcoming 22-episode season, with negotiations still in the works. With all the conflicting stories out there, there’s no telling of what will happen in the next several months. I’m not a big fan of speculation anyway, so I won’t contribute to it by adding my tired two cents of what I think here and there. Knowing that they normally film approximately eight weeks prior to what we actually see on television, that means they will begin filming Episode 11 some time in January if I’m not mistaken, as Episode 10 will be shown some time in March. So if nothing else, we have about that much time.
However, all that aside, IF for whatever reason we don’t see Connie past that 10th episode, here is why I feel that we as fans need to respect that.
There is a LOT that goes on behind the scenes that we aren’t aware of. It amazes me how so many fans believe that an actor just strolls onto the set of a television show, spits out the lines from off the top of his or her head and creative gold happens. On top of that, many believe that the hour we see is the time they’re spending working each week.
Good Lord…not even close.
There is a reason they film a particular episode eight weeks prior to when we actually see it on television. Those involved put in a LOT of work just to put together that hour. Many actors especially work 14-hour days, several days a week, and this is just for that one episode, maybe.
This can certainly take a toll on even the best actor or actress.
This is not at all to question Connie’s passion as an actress or her skill. I absolutely love her work in all she does. But what we as fans have to realize is that that’s what it is to many actors…work. I most certainly am not attempting to speak for Connie, but I’m just using some compassion and good sense to realize that working that much again, can take a tremendous toll.
On top of that, there comes a time when an actor or actress may be just ready to move on. I know that may be difficult to accept, but it happens. The only commitment we as fans put in is sitting down to watch for an hour each week. But for actors, it is MUCH more. I don’t feel many truly understand that.
Back to a lot happening behind the scenes…there could be ANY number of reasons we don’t see the beautiful “Rayna Jaymes” on our sets post-Episode 10 and it really doesn’t do much good to force believing we understand. We don’t. Even what I’m saying here is all hypothetical, as I have no idea where Connie’s head is.
Speaking of which, this off-season, upon finding out of Nashville’s initial cancellation, many of us Nashies took to Twitter to express our displeasure, which is arguably a huge reason the show was brought back. Upon finding out about Connie’s possible departure, folks are already taking to Twitter with the tweets and hashtags about her staying.
I don’t judge anyone for doing this as again, I’m a HUGE fan of Ms. Britton. However, here is why I think we should be careful with that.
In no universe in existence can I imagine Connie being a mean person. I could be wrong, but she seems very kind and polite. So I don’t figure a decision one way or the other to leave Nashville would be done with malice, at least not from her end. I’m sure that she appreciates all of us as her fans to the fullest.
But back to what I said above. Whatever reason we would see her exit the show would obviously hurt us as her fans. However, let’s put ourselves in her position. If any of this is true, this is putting a LOT of pressure on her to bombard her with tweets and hashtags asking and demanding that she come back, along with the folks at the show keeping her there. She wants to please us as the fans, I’m certain, but she also has to think of herself and do what’s best for her, even if it means we don’t get our way.
The bottom line is that if you’re as big a fan of Connie as you say you are, then it should be easy to respect this. Period.
Yes, there’s also those who demand that those involved just give Connie whatever she wants to keep her on the show. I’m not even going to pretend to know what I’m talking about when it comes to that. Just understand that there’s a reason it’s called negotiations…because it’s not a simple matter of talking for two minutes and it’s a done deal. Negotiations could take anywhere from a day to weeks to months to years. Hell, North Korea and South Korea have been in talks since 19-whenever the hell, so no…it is NOT as simple as just “giving her what she wants.” A LOT has to be considered. Not to mention, it may not even be about what Connie “wants” anyway, especially if a potential decision to leave isn’t about her getting this and that.
Again, I know that as fans, this can be very hard to accept. I don’t believe many of us want to see this beautiful redhead depart our favorite show. But all I ask is that we as fans think of, not only “Rayna Jaymes,” but of Connie Britton.
Let’s not assume that folks there at Nashville are just trying to hurt her in some way. Let’s also not assume that her leaving is because she doesn’t care for her fans. The stories are largely speculation for the most part, so let’s also not allow those to cause us to develop bitterness and anger toward anyone. Please.
“Rayna” will be in our hearts forever. Period. However, the amazing actress who has brought life to this character, as wonderful as she at her job, deserves to be thought of and respected as well.
Many of us are thinking more of Connie as “Rayna,” which is okay, because that’s the mark of a great actor; when he or she can play a character so well that that’s all we think about when we see them. But I just ask that we take a little more time and think about “Connie.”
Because respectfully, at the beginning of the day, the middle and the end, THAT is who she is. NOT “Rayna Jaymes.”