Connie Britton (‘Nashville’): Saying goodbye to Rayna James after five seasons ‘was intense’ [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO]

“It was intense! It was a really big deal,” admits Connie Britton as she reflects during our recent webcam chat about how her character was killed off in a horrifying car crash on the CMT musical drama “Nashville” (watch the exclusive video above). The four-time Emmy nominee talks candidly about her experience playing country diva Rayna Jaymes and her decision to leave the show this season. “There’s something very interesting about playing a really substantial death, and we don’t see that in TV very often. And I think in the world of storytelling, it’s a very interesting story to tell.”

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Britton played Rayna for five seasons on the show, which started out on ABC, and moved to CMT after fans helped revive the show after the broadcast network cancelled it last year. She says she felt like the time was right to move on. “There were a lot of different reasons for me and this felt like the right time to let this happen. Some of them were personal, some of them were creative,” the actress explains. “It was important to me that the show as in a great place. And with CMT, the show was at home … the show can continue on without Rayna.”

Britton acknowledges that her departure was still bittersweet. “I will miss the music,” she reveals, when asked what she will most take away from her experience on the show. “To me, that was the most unique part of doing the show and the most challenging part of doing the show and the most rewarding part of doing the show.”

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We also chatted at length about her four consecutive Emmy nominations (two for “Friday Night Lights,” one for “American Horror Story” and one for “Nashville”), her portrayal of the beloved Tami Taylor on the hit NBC/DirecTV series “Friday Night Lights,” and her work with Ryan Murphy on “American Horror Story” and “The People vs. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story.” When asked whether she might want to join the cast of some of Murphy’s upcoming projects, the actress coyly admitted she would be up for it if Murphy asked. “I love working with Ryan and we have a great relationship and I feel confident that when the right thing comes along I hope he’ll reach out.”

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