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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

NASHVILLE: PALEYFEST 2013 by Marques Wayne



The stars came out smiling widely on the red carpet for ABC's Nashville, starring Hayden Panettiere and Connie Britton as rival Country superstar divas.  The two came out separately on the carpet, but the vibe was fun and relaxed.

Early to arrive were Clare Bowen and Sam Palladio, who play duet partners, Scarlett and Gunnar.  They both gushed about the writing and the music on the show and what a great opportunity it was for them to be a part of the project.  Palladio, who says this was his first American acting gig, seemed like he was still stunned to be here.

On the red carpet, he talked about how he had never done American television, or even been on an airplane before coming to audition for the role of Gunnar.   Hearing his crisp British lilt in person, it's hard to believe that he transforms so effortlessly into the twangy drawl he takes on for Gunnar.

Emmy winner Jonathan Jackson, who plays Avery on the show revealed that he's been doing music just as long as he has been acting, so he jumped at the chance to merge his creative outlets.  The challenge for him, he told me, was playing a character like Avery, who is very different from the dark characters he normally portrays.

During the panel there was a lot of love and admiration for T-Bone Burnett, who writes and produces the original music for the show.  Everyone on stage, including his wife, series creator and Oscar winner for penning Thelma & Louise, Callie Khouri, praised him for his vital contribution to the show.  Several of the actors, especially Britton, remarked that his involvement was a key factor in them not only taking the role, but feeling confident that they were in good hands with stepping out of their comfort zones and singing.

The episode that screened before the panel expertly displayed how the show naturally weaves the performance pieces into the drama to punctuate the emotion behind the scenes in a seamless way.  There was also an equanimity of comedy and drama that further proved its critical acclaim is well deserved.

Special thanks to Samsung Smart TV for sponsoring my coverage of PaleyFest 2013.  Make sure to like Samsung TV USA on Facebook, for an insider look at red carpet photos, video highlights, recaps from the day's events and more.  Also, don't forget to follow @PopCultureBeast on Twitter for live updates during the screenings and panels.



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