Every week, a member of the Nashville cast will blog about the latest episode of the ABC hit. This week, Tony winner Laura Benanti – who plays Sadie Stone – chats about her character’s big win at the Country Music Association Awards and how her past will come back to haunt her.
All those years working hard in country music paid off! When I won that CMA Award, I tried to channel how I felt when I won a Tony in 2008 for Gypsy. I was so grateful. When you have been working so hard your whole life and you’re in room full of your peers, it’s very moving. That’s the flavor I tried to bring to the episode last night.
I was actually so bummed because the best part of my performance of “You Can’t Stop Me” they didn’t use. That’s the hard part of being on TV. You’re at the mercy of other people. They can edit and cut whatever! As a theater actor I’d like to have more control over that. We had done these beautiful sweeping shots. But that’s OK, you can buy the song on iTunes and imagine it!
I loved my outfit. They do such a great job of dressing all of us. The costumes make you feel like your character. I’m not a country star or a country person, so the outfits put me in the vibe. I never wanted to sound like a Broadway person trying to sound like a country star. So for me, like I approach any role, I try to sound as authentic as possible. I immersed myself in the world as much as I could. Country and Broadway are both similar in that they both tell a story. Broadway is more from your chest or your head while country is a little less polished, less vibrato. I try to pretend like I’m drunk – throw it away. That the biggest thing is to be more relaxed with it, to not worry about it being perfect.
I mentioned very briefly in episode 4 that my ex-husband had taken all my money. He will come back in a major way. He definitely creates some drama.
I’m also returning to The Good Wife this year. We’re trying to work out dates. I played Renata Ellard, the wife of Colin Sweeney (Dylan Baker). I was in that episode with the weird sex dungeons and I murdered my best friend, just like you do. I haven’t seen the script yet but Colin and I will be divorced. It’s such a wonderful show!
I’m really happy be on Nashville, but it’s tricky with so many characters. Actors are narcissists. Of course we want more to do, of course we want to show that we’re skilled actors. But that’s not a complaint. I understood I was coming in to a big ensemble show. I’ve been a big fan of the show from very early on. To get to sing on TV is a great joy. I did it in small spurts on They Playboy Club, Eli Stone and The Sound of Music Live last year.
I think what I’ve enjoyed the most about being on the show is the relationship between Rayna (Connie Britton) and Sadie. It’s great that two grown successful women can be friends. I don’t know where they are going with it, but I hope we continue on the path.