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Charles Esten Can’t Relate to His ‘Nashville’ Character, Deacon Claybourne

Charles Esten
Dimitrios Kambouris, Getty Images

Nashville‘ character Deacon Claybourne is loyal, but also pretty self-destructive. While some actors choose a role based on the connection they feel, Charles “Chip” Esten, who plays the part, says he can’t relate to his on-screen character. 

“I’m very different than Deacon in many, many ways, but there’s a lot of ‘there but for the grace of God go I,’” he admits (quote via Big Machine Label Group).

“He’s had it harder than I’ve probably had it, so it’s taken its toll and he’s got his demons that he battles and I guess everybody does, but I’m pretty different,” the 48-year-old adds, “But I’m glad for it.”

Claybourne, who is still in a mess of a situation with Rayna (played by Connie Britton) on the show, is struggling with possibly never playing guitar again and trying to heal after a car crash. In contrast to his ‘Nashville’ character, Esten has a wife, along with two daughters and a son — he has a pretty stable life. His real life is also probably a lot less drama-filled than that of his character, which helps him sleep a whole lot better at night.

If Esten can’t relate to his ‘Nashville’ character, it means that he’s not just a good actor — he’s a great actor, as he’s able to play the extremely conflicted ‘Nashville’ star really, really well.

Be sure to tune in to ‘Nashville’ every Wednesday night on ABC at 10PM ET.

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