'Nashville' Star Chris Carmack Previews the End of Will Lexington's Story
On the sixth and final season of Nashville’s operatic — or would that be Opry-atic? — drama, formerly closeted gay country musician Will Lexington (Chris Carmack) nearly died of heart failure, brought on by steroid abuse, during a performance with his band.
The hunky guitarist is in the midst of a grueling recovery, but this week, things get bumpier. Carmack gives us Will’s prognosis.
How’s Will shaping up?
Chris Carmack: He’s got doctor’s orders to sit on the sidelines. He’s derailed the band’s progress and let his friends down big time. He’s physically damaged, grappling with mortality but focused on healing.
Now that Alannah (Rainee Blake) has quit the band, any chance he’ll regroup with Gunnar (Sam Palladio) and Avery (Jonathan Jackson)?
I won’t say when, but you will see us perform.
Do you think Will Lexington has left a mark on the TV landscape?
I’ve never seen a gay character portrayed the way Will was. He came in as a dude’s dude — loved fishing, rodeo, trucks, stereotypical machismo stuff — and happened to be gay. There was no tip of the hat, no wink. One half of himself feels comfortable in a society that hates the other half of himself.
What are your favorite moments from your story in Nashville?
Will and Gunnar’s friendship is the heart and soul of Will’s journey. Gunnar is a safe place. He accepts Will. He advises Will against a sham marriage and stops him from suicide.
Can you hint how Will’s story wraps up?
We get hope. His musical career continues. And he has the prospect of love.
Your line from the 2003–07 series The O.C., "Welcome to the O.C., bitch," put you on the map. Do fans still ask you to quote that?
All the time. They ask me to make videos. I’m in Nottingham, England, and they’re like, "Will you do a video saying, 'Welcome to Nottingham, bitch?'" I don’t mind!
Nashville, Thursdays, 9/8c, CMT
This article also appeared in the June 25 - July 8 issue of TV Guide Magazine.