Chris Carmack Feels Responsibility for His ‘Nashville’ Character
On the ABC television drama Nashville, Chris Carmack portrays Will Lexington -- a gay country singer who is afraid to expose his sexual orientation for fear of career repercussions -- and it's a role that Carmack says he is passionate about playing well.
"This job, this character of Will Lexington, is probably the first job I've ever had where I feel a certain amount of responsibility in playing [the role]," Carmack tells The Boot. "At the end of the day, as an actor, all we do is follow our instincts about being honest in a situation. But with Will, I have to have this extra voice in my head, saying, 'Okay, so this is me being honest in this situation, but am I doing this story justice?'"
Carmack, whose numerous credits include roles on the TV show The O.C. and the movie The Butterfly Effect 3: Revelations, among others, says that fans of the show struggling with the same issues as Lexington often reach out to him for support, which makes him take his role that much more seriously.
"Sometimes I have to go in and really dig a little bit deeper for the answers to questions I have, because it's not just a character flopping around on a nighttime soap," Carmack explains. "It's a story that means a lot to a lot of people, and I have to treat it with a lot of reverence."
The 34-year-old recently released his debut single, "Being Alone," from his upcoming Pieces of You EP. The song, with lines like “I have tried temptation / Someone to have and to hold / I’ve tried dedication / To fill the void in my soul / I’ve tried contemplation / Thought I could think myself whole / But there’s nothing free about / Being alone,” sounds like it was written with his TV role in mind, but Carmack says that the inspiration for the song came before he was even offered a part on the series.
"It does kind of parallel Will's journey," Carmack acknowledges, "but I have to say that as an actor, I have to find parallels in my own life that work with Will's journey as well. In the role I've taken for Will, that I understand very intimately, is the sacrifice you have to make in your personal life to pursue your dreams in your professional life. That's kind of been my road in for Will, because that's been his whole story."
Carmack performed the new song while on tour with the Nashville cast, but fans all over the world got to hear the tune in the show's recent Season 3 finale, when (spoiler alert!) Lexington finally came out.
"I felt I wanted to have it out there, in conjunction with the tour that we did," he says. "But a friend of mine suggested that the timing would have been really nice to release it in conjunction with what happens for Will in the episode."
Country Stars Who Have Come Out as Gay