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Chip Esten on season 2 finale of ‘Nashville’ and playing Deacon Claybourne

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Nashville,” the ABC hit show about the country music industry, is heading for the season 2 finale tomorrow night. The network recently announced the series has been picked up for a third season, according to the Nashville Business Journal yesterday, despite the location of the show’s future being unresolved. No one is probably happier about that than the man who plays Deacon Claybourne, actor and singer Chip Esten.

Esten spoke with CBS News not long ago about the show and his role on it. He describes Deacon as a man who only ever wanted a simple family life but whose demons robbed him of that. In season 2, the recovering alcoholic had to deal with unexpected fatherhood issues, began drinking again and got sober again and then discovered his lawyer girlfriend had an affair with the same man who took his first love, Rayna (Connie Britton) away from him.

The actor says bringing a child into Deacon’s life has made things more difficult. He has to learn how to be a parent and he’s striving to be a better man, not just for Rayna anymore, but for his daughter whom he knows will be watching his every move. Esten says he can relate to that completely, “-- that fight that he always has between the man he wants to be and the man that he turns outs to be. He's always just fighting for that."

Of the finale, the actor was very positive. "It's a good end of the season. It's really strong."

In a separate interview with CBS News, Connie Britton said of the finale, "The final episode is blowing out everything. We do a huge performance at LP Field in Nashville and everybody's going to be doing great numbers...There's a lot of stories that get tied up, but everything has a little twist...For my character -- for Rayna -- she's finally releasing her album and it was fun for me to shoot that because it was really a great moment of victory for Rayna...There was a twist in that one that even surprised me when I read it, I have to say."

Of the rest of the cast and crew, Esten says everyone is deeply invested. No one is there simply for the paycheck.

The former “Whose Line Is It Anyway” comedian says he would like to have one of his original songs featured on the show. He has been writing music for many years and country music was his genre. Still, he is appreciative of the music the show gets from some of the best songwriters in Nashville.

The season 2 finale of “Nashville” airs on Wednesday, May 14 on ABC. The series, which has been renewed for a third season, will return in the fall.


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