Aubrey Peeples, who plays Layla Grant on the ABC drama Nashville, is no stranger to being in front of the camera. The actress and singer, who has appeared in Sharknado, Drop Dead Diva and Grey's Anatomy, among other projects, has already weathered plenty of storms in her current role, including when her character found out that her husband, Will Lexington (played by Chris Carmack), is gay and the death of her boyfriend Jeff Fordham (played by Oliver Hudson). It would be a challenging role for anyone, but the 22-year-old says that she takes it all in stride.

"Everyone has their own kind of technique, if you will," Peeples tells The Boot. "I cry a lot. If I’m having a serious scene, I tend to keep it kind of serious, kind of to myself. I work with my own acting coach, so we kind of go over everything beforehand; I’m a big preparation freak. It’s different depending on the scene, depending on the day."

One thing that helps, Peeples says, is the incredible support from her fellow cast members, who have become more like family than co-stars.

"We are so close, and my scenes with Chris are so easy at this point, because we really have all this history between us," she explains. "It’s not as dramatic as Layla’s and Will’s, but it’s very easy to have a connection to people I work with."

Peeples' character is pursuing her own musical career, which requires a lot of singing on screen.

"I don’t get intimidated singing," Peeples maintains. "I’ve been doing it for so long, and been training for 11 years. But I do get intimidated working with Hayden [Panettiere] and Jonathan [Jackson] and Chris and Connie [Britton]. I’ve looked up to them for so long. I do get a little nervous sometimes, but I’ve worked with them for so long now, it’s going away."

What does make the Florida native anxious is the chance to perform at some of Music City's most historic venues, including the Ryman Auditorium and the Grand Ole Opry.

"I’ve done the Opry nine times now," she says. "Every time, I’m just as nervous. Last time, I went up to the microphone and realized I was at the wrong one, and the circle was over there ... I definitely have not lost my nerves over how amazing these experiences are. The show has opened up so many opportunities for us ...

"It’s still crazy that I get to say I do that, because we kind of snuck in," Peeples adds. "We took a sideways door into the music industry, but we’re very, very honored to be here."

Nashville airs on Wednesday nights at 10PM ET on ABC.

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