Does Jonathan Jackson Hate His Nashville Character As Much As We Do?
We fell in love with Jonathan Jackson (who plays Avery Barkley on Nashville) way way back in the day. We’re talking, bottom teeth-bearing, dad jean-wearing Mud from Camp Nowhere. How could we not be head over saltwater sandals! He totally saved the camp! And then there was that time he was a jerk in Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (shut up) and we were like “nah, hell nah Mojito,” and our relationship has been rocky with JoJa ever since. Kinda like how we feel about Avery. But it turns out, we’re not the only ones on the fence about Nashville’s resident waverer.
"People on the street who watch the show, some of them come up and they're like, 'Man, Avery's just a jerk. What he did to Scarlett, what he did to his band,’” Jonathan spills to TV Guide about the ins and outs of being Barkley. "And then I meet other people, they're like, 'You know, I really feel for Avery. He's got this opportunity and it's just the way things go.' So it's been fascinating to just see people's different reactions to what he's going through."
Our take? He’s a douuuuuuuuuchenozzle who needs to shave off that chin pubescence, like, yesterday. But the character is more complex than just a “love or hate” dismissal. Whether you like it or not (dichotomies!), Avery has intersected with half the main characters already, and it seems like he’s just getting started. "I think [Avery] has a really good soul and I think he has a really good heart,” JSquared says of his festering character. “And I think that's the conflict, is there's that ambition and that insecurity and that fear that it won't work for him, and that he'll be a failure. That fear and that ambition have driven him to do some things that are contrary to who he really is."
So, where do we go from here? According to one of the showrunners, Avery may be headed for a meeting with the earth when he topples off his pedestal and down the rabbit hole. Will he get back his lost love? He seems to think so, but fellow triangle-dwellers Clare Bowen (Scarlett O’Connor) and Sam Palladio (Gunnar Scott)aren’t so on board. But while we might dislike Music City’s rising star, the actor who plays him has a good grip on what’s going on under the thumb rings (we just assume he wears them).
“[S]ome people feel the empathy for him more and some people just see the choices and just say, 'Man, this guy's just selfish.’ And in some sense, they're both right. And it's just a matter of which side of him is going to prevail at what time,” he concludes mysteriously.
Will Avery redeem himself? Will he continue to make us want to knit little soul patched voodoo dolls? Tune in March 27 when the show returns with Episode 15 “When You’re Tired of Breaking Other Hearts.”