Connie Britton is coming back to TV, y'all!
And not only is she starring in ABC's new Nashville, which is a family drama involving politics and country music, she's singing in it, too! Connie plays a country superstar (think Faith Hill), and yes, the Friday Night Lights star can sing. In fact, she can sing very well, thankyouverymuch!
We caught up with Connie and her Nashville costar Hayden Panettiere at the ABC-Entertainment Weekly upfront party, where they chatted about their new show, their rivalry on it and why people love Connie's signature twang. Plus, will Connie ever return to American Horror Story?
"For me, it was kind of a big challenge; it was a big departure for me in a lot of ways to play this country-western star. I haven't sung in a very long time," she says of joining the show. "I can sing. I will continue to keep working on it and all that, but I'm excited to play this character because it's just a very cool, well-developed, no pun intended, woman."
Hayden, the show's other leading lady, can also sing (she was even nominated for a Grammy back in 1999 for A Bug's Life Read-a-Long!) and tells us she's always wanted to record country music. "I've always loved country music, but when you're from New York, people are like, 'Country music? Where's the connection there?'" she explains.
We all know the question you're about to ask, so we'll just answer it now: Yes, Connie does drop a few of her famous "y'alls" in the Nashville pilot. So why are people so obsessed with her twang? "I don't know! I think it's authentic for me, honestly," she says. "I come from the South and I think people appreciate authenticity and I think that they sense that, maybe? That's my guess!"
Hayden plays Connie's rival, professionally and maybe personally, on the show and tells us it's hard being mean to the Friday Night Lights star onscreen. "Every time I had to be a you-know-what to her in the scene, I was like, 'As long as you don't' really hate me at the end of the day!'
"I'm actually a huge fan of hers. I've watched Friday Night Lights, and I was a huge fan of American Horror Story," she continues. "I remember right before she was about to sign, we were both at WME and I went up to her and I was like, 'I hear you might be doing the show. I'm in love with the show. I really want to do it.' She was like, 'I'm so excited to hear that you might be involved.' So we were ecstatic when it happened!"
Speaking of American Horror Story, we had to ask Connie if she was open to the idea of returning to the FX hit.
"I would love to! Whenever I see him [Ryan Murphy], we talk about it," she tells us. "I really think it's just a matter of if he finds just the right thing and now if we can fit it in with the schedule and all that. I would love to, I would play a ghost on that thing anytime, any day of the week!"
To hear more from Connie, who talks about moving with her son to Nashville, and Hayden, who dismisses comparisons to Glee, watch our interviews with them above!