After all the reports if Connie Britton was on for the full 22-episode season of Nashville on CMT, or only for the first half, it turned out after last night’s heartbreaking episode that Rayna took her last breath, and Britton made her official exit for the series leaving devastated #Nashies from coast to coast!
On last night’s episode, “If Tomorrow Never Comes” after being held at knifepoint by a crazed stalker, a car crash and emergency surgery, Rayna unexpectedly slipped away. Look for Rayna to appear in flashbacks in two more episodes, before Britton is gone completely from the canvas.
Britton took to Instragram to address her departure from the series which was entirely her decision: Thank you Rayna Jaymes. For your magic and your dignity. And thank you to all the creators of Rayna Jaymes, for there were many. Callie Khouri, who gave her life. Deacon, Maddie, Daphne, who shaped her as her family. Teddy, Tandy, Lamar too. Juliette, Scarlett, Bucky and the ones who crafted her into a business woman. Along with countless other compatriots and combatants. And then of course the crew of “Nashville” who brought her to life, every crew member in every department who made Rayna live each week.
And then there’s the music. T Bone, Buddy, Tim, Frankie and all the brilliant songwriters who gave Rayna a voice. There was no music, and no Rayna, without you. But finally and most importantly, the fans. You made Rayna. You supported her and loved her and gave her inspiration just as she was able to inspire you. You were the energy source, the power behind her heart and soul and life. Rayna lived for you. And, from the depths of my heart, I thank you, for her and for me. It has been an honor to be a part of that creation. And as I know she would want it, the show must, and will go on. Long live Rayna Jaymes. #RIPRayna #NashvilleCMT”
Connie told The Hollywood Reporter that her exit scenes were so emotionally difficult: ”It was incredibly emotional. It was very difficult for me and it still is. It’s hard for me to talk about without getting a little choked up [pauses] … because I love this character so much and the people I’ve been fortunate to act with for the last five years and our crew. This has become an essential part of my life. It was really tough doing those last couple weeks especially. Those scenes were so emotional. Toward the last couple days, which is when we shot the really intense scenes in the ICU and the one where Rayna actually dies, nobody could get through them without crying. Saying goodbye is really hard.”
News on Thursday also has Britton landing her first major role post Nashville. She has signed on to star in The Land of Steady Habits. Netflix’s ensemble comedic drama that adapts the Ted Thompson novel. Britton will play a divorcee who develops a connection with Mendelsohn’s character, first meeting him in a strip club.
So what do you think of a Nashville without Connie Britton? Did you watch the heartbreaking final death scenes of Rayna? Were you shocked? Comment below!