Go On alum, Tony winner and Twitter master extraordinaire Laura Benanti starts her arc as Nashville‘s Sadie Stone this week (Wednesday, 10/9c), when the singer-songwriter catches Rayna’s discerning eye.
In a very entertaining interview, Benanti chatted with TVLine about everything from her supportive neighbors to Kacey Musgraves to her obsession with Connie Britton. Here are the important takeaways:
SHE DOESN’T LIKE JEFF FORDHAM, EITHER | “I’m a huge fan of the show. My girlfriend, Chelsea, and I, we watch it religiously. So when I got offered this job, it was probably the happiest moment of my life… which might be sad,” she says, laughing. “Then, when I saw that my scenes were with Jeff Fordham, I was like, ‘Noooooo!,” because everyone hates Jeff Fordham — as you should.”
SADIE SEEMS COOL | “She has been writing songs for other people for a really long time, and she’s just put out an album on her own that’s hit in a pretty big way,” Benanti previews. “She gets to meet her idol, Rayna Jaymes, who takes her under her wing a bit. They become friendly. They get into a car chase, which is super cool.”
WAIT, WHAT’S THAT ABOUT CAR CHASE? | “Sitting in a car with Connie Britton for five hours, riding around Nashville, was the highlight of my life. It was so hilarious to me that after all the tweets I’ve tweeted about Connie Britton and being obsessed with her, now she’s trapped in a car with me for five hours. It’s hilarious karma. I must have done something right.”
SADIE IS FLYING SOLO (AT LEAST FOR THE MOMENT) | “The thing I love about this character is that she seems to be a true friend to Rayna and is really focusing on herself, her life and her music, which is a story I’m happy to tell,” Benanti says. “I’ve had my fair share of dudes come in and out, and I’m happy to just be telling a story about a woman that is choosing herself and her life.”
SUSSING OUT SADIE’S SOUND | Benanti says she molded Sadie after country-music singer-songwriters like Kacey Musgraves and Bonnie Raitt, both of whom toiled for years before gaining popular acclaim. “There’s a real difference between being a 25-year-old who’s on the brink of something big and being a 35-year-old on the brink of something big. There’s a wisdom there, but there’s a feeling that this could be my last chance.”
KILLING IT IN VENUES BIG AND SMALL | Benanti won’t say at which Nashville musical institution Sadie has already performed, “but it was a pretty unbelievable place. I definitely cried when I stood on the stage… The crew, this is their third year on the show. So I come in like, “Everything is Nashville!” and they’re like, “Calm down,” she jokes. The part required Benanti to brush up on her guitar playing, something the neighbors in her apartment building wholeheartedly supported. “They can obviously hear me through the wall… The last day, I was practicing before I came out to Nashville to actually shoot, and they were like ‘We think you got it! Good job! We’re so proud of you!'”