A new chapter. Charles Esten opened up about moving on from his starring role as Deacon Claybourne on Nashville.
“When it comes to missing Nashville, it’s mostly about missing the people — the fellow cast members and the amazing crew that all became such great friends and made that beautiful show happen,” the actor, 54, told Us Weekly exclusively. “I’ll miss my friend Deacon as well. It was an honor and a real joy to play a guy with so much heart in the face of so much adversity. A guy who fought every day to be a better man than he had been before — all for the sake of the ones he loved so deeply.”
Esten also has a piece of his character that will stay with him throughout his career. “As for the songs? Well, thankfully I’ll get to sing those for the rest of my life,” he added. “And when I do, it’ll probably be on one of his guitars.”
The Whose Line Is It Anyway? alum noted that the cast “was always very close” and they keep up with each other via social media and texting.
However, fans should not hold their breath for a reunion. “That’s hard to say,” Esten admitted. “Obviously, we live in a world and a business where that seems to happen more and more, but for me it’s really hard to imagine how that would work in a way that everybody agreed made sense and built on the popularity instead of simply borrowing from it. And for now, happily, everybody seems to be making the most of their time and talents in other projects and other ways.”
Still, the part holds a treasured place in the Outer Banks star’s life. “The role of Deacon Claybourne is easily the best, most multi-faceted and fully human role I’ve had,” he said. “When you add the fact that it allowed me to sing, play and write music for the show, it’s kind of hard for anything else to compare. I’m proud of the hard work and care I put into the great opportunity I was given. I can look back and say, ‘I did all that I could!’”
He starred alongside Connie Britton (Rayna James), Hayden Panettiere (Juliette Barnes), Jonathan Jackson (Avery Barkley), Clare Bowen (Scarlett O’Connor) and Sam Palladio (Gunnar Scott) on Nashville, which aired from 2012 to 2018.
These days, Esten is acting in addition to touring around the world and releasing new music, including the single “A Road and a Radio.”
He will also perform at The Baha Mar Cup on Friday, November 8, to benefit victims of Hurricane Dorian: “Like so many others, when I saw the post-Hurricane Dorian footage, I was in absolute shock at the level of devastation that a small piece of paradise had endured. When I received the offer to become a part of this event, I jumped at it.”
With reporting by Leanne Aciz-Stanton
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