Nashville’s revelations have been coming thick and fast, and Charles Esten’s character Deacon Claybourne has been right in the middle of it all. When Wetpaint Entertainment spoke with the actor at the 2013 TCA Winter Press Tour, he talked about Deacon’s possible parental issue and why the musician just can’t stay away from Rayna (Connie Britton) and Juliette (Hayden Panettiere).
Wetpaint Entertainment: We just found out some revelations about Deacon's sordid past.
Charles Esten: Absolutely, especially because I'm in a band called the Revel. So there are some revelations. Yeah, in scenes I was in and scenes I wasn't, of course, they're talking about the children.
And also, you did something bad.
Yeah. That's what they like to do, and it makes sense as you reveal pieces. Otherwise you're just sitting there giving exposition. Like, ‘Do you remember the time that they did this thing?’ You don't ever want to be doing that. You just want to let the pieces kind of fall out as they may, and they're real good at doing that.
Did you know the paternity issue – that Rayna’s daughter might be yours – was coming?
I don't know much more than anybody, seriously. I still don't know where that's going. Everybody's just assuming it's Deacon. We'll find out.
What about the other drama, the drunk driving? Are we going to explore that?
I would think so, and I would hope so. That's like a crumb you leave on the trail that you hope leads to something, and generally, they're great about that. They're just giving a piece of it. So we'll get to find out later more about what that meant or where that came from.
What's coming up in the near future?
You can already see the stress of Deacon being on that tour and that group. It's just not a great fit. Those guys are all sober now, the band, but they're not all sane. And of course, he has his own issues. That stress is going to come to the front. A clash of egos, maybe, and more.
I would assume that he joins the tour with Rayna and Juliette?
Do you want a job writing for us? That's pretty good. I like that.
Doesn't it sound pretty logical?
It does. That's the thing. I hope they don't keep me away from those ladies for too long because I love doing those scenes with them both.
For you, how much fun is it to play with the two of them simultaneously?
You mean in one scene. There have been scenes like that, and that's electric. It's so funny because even as an actor, when I'm doing a scene with Connie and we're working all day together, and Hayden shows up, it's almost like, ‘oh, I almost got caught acting with Connie.’ And it works the other way too. When I'm with Hayden all day, and Connie shows up. But we all get along so very well. I love the fireworks that happen when the two of them are in the room acting. I mean they're both so great individually, so when you put those two chemicals together, it's a lot of fun just being in the middle.
Rayna and Deacon have had a relationship that's lasted throughout her marriage. Where do you see that going? Why do you think he stuck around for so long?
Well, there's a lot of different reasons. I think the first and most romantic is that she's just the one for him, whether he's the one for her, or whether it ever works out, she’s just that one. The one that got away, and got away because he was a fool. I let her go. The bottle let me down. So there's that, and then there's the part that is his addictive personality in general. By the way, she's Rayna Jaymes. There's the charisma, the beauty, the talent. They were there on the ground floor together, and I think it was just that deep of a love. So it's hard to let that go, like it's hard to let anything go.
But it's almost like she had her cake, and she ate it too.
Yeah, absolutely, and a lot of that frustration does come out and will come out. She's been very good. She hasn't crossed the line. She's walked the line, but she hasn't crossed it. But that's been hard for her too. That's the stress.
Unless you are the father of her child which is a little bit of crossing the line?
But when did that happen? Was that before or after the marriage?
So it's going to be a juicy season then?
It looks like it to me. I think so, absolutely, because there's so many characters whose hearts are just out there. I mean the song that started out the whole show was “Keep on Dreaming, Even If It Breaks Your Heart.” And that's what all these characters are doing. They're dreaming of where they can end up where they want to be, what they want to be, who they want to be with, and life ain't easy in Nashville.
Have you had a favorite musical performance so far?
I've said this before, and it's true. I really enjoyed the two duets I got to do. The “No One Will Ever Love You” with Connie.
That was intense.
It was, very. And it's like doing a scene with her because you're not talking to each other, but in a sense you are. If you're not just communicating with each other, you're not doing the song any justice. And there's so much going on under the surface there. And then getting to do “Undermine” with Hayden. One of the things we do on the show, the conceit is that we were writing that song right then. And we just finished writing, and we're trying it out. They're scenes as well as songs, and that's exciting.