Warning: this post contains spoilers from the Nashville series finale.
Rayna James may be dead, but she’s not gone. Connie Britton’s character returned for the emotional finale of Nashville on Thursday, July 26, in a flashback to Rayna and Deacon’s wedding night. However, she wasn’t always keen on the idea of coming back to the CMT drama. Britton, 51, left the show in season 5 when Rayna died following a car accident.
“I’ll admit [that] when they first called me to do it, I was a little against it,” the actress told TVLine about the finale. “Because I thought, ‘Rayna’s gone.’ And I don’t like the idea of having her come back as a ghost.”
However, the scene was too beautiful for her to turn it down. In the memory, Rayna reminded Deacon of who he was and that she believed in him. The scene with Charles Easten “felt just like picking up right where we’d left off … It just all came back,” the former 9-1-1 star said.
She also appeared in the final scene where the nearly the entire cast and crew, including creator Callie Khouri, joined onstage at the Ryman Auditorium to perform “A Life That’s Good.”
Britton also revealed to Variety that in order to film the cameo, she had to cut a vacation with her 7-year-old son short, but she knew it would be meaningful to the cast, crew and fans.
“Rayna got to do the impossible. She got to come back from the dead,” she said. “I got to do the most wonderful, which was to go back to my Nashville family and celebrate all the hard work and love and care that went into that show.”
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