"Even villains have souls," the actor says
Credit: Mark Levine/ABC

Every week, a member of the Nashville cast will blog about the latest episode on ABC. This week, Oliver Hudson (Jeff Fordham) weighs in on the second episode and how his character got a dressing down from the head of the label for "hating" female artists and driving down profits.

Jeff seems to be unraveling slowly – it feels like he’s verging on a mental breakdown and spiraling out of control. He’s alone and shivering in the corner of an apartment by himself!

To be candid, it’s fun playing the villain. But once you establish the villain, you want to understand why he is the way he is. Even villains have souls. Why did he become this way? We will explore that a little bit. A few things have been written already to plant a seed on why Jeff may be the way he is. Technically, the show is dealing with 16 characters and there are a crazy number of storylines.

It’s funny I would not say he hates women. For Jeff, art is money. If it’s not making him money, it’s not artistic. He’s a bottom-line guy. I don’t think he hates women but he has intimacy issues. Rayna wasn’t making him money at the time and she was going up against him and they were butting heads.

The scene with Hayden Panettiere was really fun to do. I was improvising comedy. I did that for seven years on Rules of Engagement and I do that a lot on Nashville, but because of time issues, a lot gets cut. That scene was really funny because when she would walk away, I would make certain comments, certain sounds that got the crew laughing. Obviously, there were things that would never make it to air.

Jeff, intuitively, has an idea that Will (Chris Carmack) is gay. He’s just waiting for confirmation. In the meantime, he is proceeding as if he knows. Will is his No. 1 artist and he will do anything to protect that, which means Jeff would never go the right way and encourage his client to come out of the closet and be himself. Jeff’s attitude is more like, ‘I’m OK with what you are doing. Just do it in your own time, don’t get caught and we will be fine.’ And by the way? I will help you to create a beard. Jeff’s all about protecting his assets and his ass.

You would think Jeff is in career-saving mode, but he is still aloof and egotistical and says things that aren’t necessarily beneficial in saving his career. That’s why I feel like Jeff is going crazy. He’s pretty much losing all of his artists and he’s still acting this way? Is he on drugs?

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