Nashville returns for its second season of all-new episodes on Wednesday night, September 25th at 10PMEST! And when we last left off in the season one finale, Gunnar (Sam Palladio) had just proposed to Scarlett (Claire Bowen) just as she was getting close with Avery (Jonathan Jackson) again, and after Gunnar admits he stole his brother’s songs! And in the just released tune-in info for the season two premiere, ABC relates, “Gunnar and Scarlett’s relationship becomes even more complicated after the proposal, so they turn to their friends, Will (Chris Carmack) and Zoey (Chaley Rose), for support!”
On-Air On-Soaps caught up with the talented Sam Palladio at the recent ABC TCA Summer Press tour to get some insight into: where Gunnar’s journey will go in season two, if there is hope for Scarlett and Gunnar, what it’s like working with his co-stars, five-time Daytime Emmy winner and former General Hospital favorite, Jonathan Jackson, and the little dynamo herself, Claire Bowen! Plus, we learn if Sam is planning on cutting his own album in the very near future and taking the country music scene in Nashville by storm for real. Here’s our conversation below!
Gunnar’s journey by the end of season one turned quite dark! During the season one finale with his sudden proposal to Scarlett, it left viewers wondering, “What the hell is going on here?” (Laughs) Did it feel that way to you?
SAM: There was a lot of stuff going on at the end, for sure. There were some really great character arc moments as an actor to delve into. I think they had to tie-up a lot of storylines in the season finale, because there are a lot of characters that they follow each week, and something new always happens. In that finale piece, there was actually a scene that explained the whole proposal thing a bit more that sort of disappeared into a montage. So I think it left the audiences a little bit like, “Oh! Where did that come from?” So this season kicks off and will explain it. Since fans are saying, “Help us?” (Laughs) As far as what is coming up for Gunnar, he will be dealing with some stresses and troubles as always, and breaking hearts.
In season one, Gunnar’s brother died! Do you think Nashville creator Callie Khouri, along with EP’s, Dee Johnson and R. J. Cutler, were looking for something more to give you and Gunnar in terms of story?
SAM: I was lucky. Initially, I thought Gunnar would be the boyfriend in the background character, and then they did start mining and fleshing out some of that storyline. I, for one, was very happy to be doing that. I think I was originally more of an outside character, but I think I am being brought more into the mix, more and more now. There is some great music coming up again. I think it was Scarlett and Gunnar the duo. Now they are becoming their own separate entities in season two.
Jonathan Jackson’s character of Avery was an arrogant asshole for much of last season, and then by the time the season finale rolled around, the roles seemed to have switched where Gunnar was not acting like such a nice guy! What did you think of that character development? And, working with Jonathan?
SAM: I thought that was cool! Jonathan is a consummate professional. He is very sensitive and calm, and knows exactly what beats he is hitting, and he is a methodical actor. He is great to work with. I will work with Jonathan a bit more this season, and I will get to sing some songs with him, as Avery and Gunnar, which will be interesting. And … we will see how they do that! (Laughs)
You have such an amazing voice. Will you record your own album soon?
SAM: Last year, was all about for me taking the show Nashville in and making it a priority. This year, it’s all about music options and there are so many in Nashville, and I have so much of my own material now. I am a songwriter myself. I have been for years. I have not explored in the past getting my songs on the show, but this year I feel I have some songs that could work very nicely into Nashville.
Nashville’s music producer wunderkind, T-Bone Burnett is a good contact! (Laughs)
SAM: He is a good guy to know, and he knows what he is doing! I have people like him to ask for producing help, which is kind of amazing.
If you were to do an album for yourself, what would it be like musically?
SAM: My music is sort of a hybrid of 70’s James Taylor and folk, mixed with some Mumford and Sons, I guess. In that it is mixing that old style factor of songwriting with some up tempo rhythmic stuff. I play drums as well, and actually I am more of a drummer than I am a guitar player. That has always been my dilemma. So, I am trying to get Gunnar drumming and singing this year, because you can’t usually be the front man in a band singing if you are the drummer! However, that is what I do in my real show!
How is working with Claire Bowen as Scarlett? You have a British accent in real life and she has an Australian accent! Would you drop the accents when you got to the set?
SAM: Claire is great. I would turn up in accent when I come to work and so does she! But Claire is so talented, and has really taken the role of Scarlett, and turned it into a favorite with Nashville fans!
So,when season two of Nashville debuts would you like Scarlett to wind up in the arms of Gunnar or Avery? What do you think of Sam Palladio’s performance on the ABC nighttime musical drama? Is he one of your favorite from the cast of characters? Would you like to listen to album of Sam’s original music? Share your thoughts below!