Raina Deerwater ‘16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Emertainment Monthly was lucky to get time to chat with Nashville star, Aubrey Peeples who plays Layla Grant on ABC’s Nashville. Peeples along with several other stars of the television series are about to embark on a national concert tour and will stopping at Boston’s Wang Theatre on May 2.
Peeples dishes on Nashville, the tour and her upcoming film Jem and the Holograms.
Next week you guys are starting off on the Nashville tour. Are you excited about that?
Yes, yes, it’s all very exciting.
Do you think it adds a certain element to the show to go and do your songs in front of an audience as opposed to the pre recorded stuff?
Absolutely. I think it proves that Nashville, the show is so much more than a tv show. I think it provides a lot authenticity for the music on the show and it really proves that we’re accurately portraying the music industry to some extent. I think it really justifies what we’re doing and I also think it allows fans to see more of us and to get to know more of us. I think it’s really cool, I think it’s kind of meta, you know: life reflects art reflects life reflects art, because we are artists who are touring on the show and now we’re making that happen in real life. I think that’s really cool.
Yeah, it’s super cool how even on the show you interact with actual people from the music industry-
-like in the most recent episode, you were just casually hanging out with Christina Aguilera. How was that for you?
I know! A bunch of people tweeted photos of us sitting near each other, they were screenshots I’m assuming of the TV and there are just these pictures now on twitter of me sitting next to Christina Aguilera and I’m like, “What is happening? How has this happened?” It’s pretty wild.
Was she a nice person to work with, or were you a little intimidated?
Oh yeah. I mean, I was so intimidated before I met her: shes an icon. But she was so nice, and so cool to work with and she seemed really really excited to be on the show. It’s just really cool that someone in the music industry, who is such an icon and a legend and has so much power in the industry wanted to be a part of our show. I think that provides a lot of authenticity for what we do and I agains, it’s that kind of art reflects life reflects art kind of thing. It’s pretty crazy to see reality and the show kind of blend together.
Yeah, that’s awesome. So this year on the show you’ve been given so much more to do: you’ve gotten to have arcs with Connie Britton and Layla’s going off and doing her own thing.
I know, it’s so cool!
Do you think there’s been a different reaction from the fans now compared to their reactions in the past?
Absolutely, yeah. I mean, for a long time I think Layla was very hated. And I still think she’s really hated, but I think people like to hate her. I think she provides a villainous character on the show who’s also a singer. I think Layla is a really fun character and I think with everything they’ve allowed me to do this season, they’ve given me a lot more music to do, they’ve had me interact with a lot more characters so I think that’ what’s exciting for me but I also think that’s what’s exciting for people watching the show. It opens Layla up as a character, helps people understand her more, so I think people are enjoying it. I’ve gotten positive responses so far.
It’s definitely interesting and you’ve got the dynamic morally ambiguous duo of Layla and Jeff that’s happening a lot this season. Can you say anything about the future of their relationship?
Well, like all the relationships on Nashville, they’re going to ebb and flow and continue to get more dramatic. But, something that’s really cool about Layla and Jeff is that they work together not only as characters on the show but as far as human relationships go. They work together and their both these villains, they’re both these manipulative people who will do anything it takes to get their way. And that’s not something that people tend to like, but because they opened our characters up and had them fall in love with each other, they’ve really become more vulnerable this season. So now, people are rooting for them. It’s been really cool getting to play this manipulative, immature, kind of wild character that people are also rooting for. They hate us, but they’re also rooting for us. It’s really cool.
So is there anything you’re allowed to say about what might happen in the finale, because it’s just a few weeks away now.
Well, what I’m gonna say kind of goes for a lot of the characters on the show, that things that the audience has been anticipating for multiple season now, kind of come to fruition. A lot of things that they’re looking for to happen, will happen, or will start to happen. A lot of things that we’ve been building up to will come out and will come to fruition. So it’s really cool. It’s gonna be a cool finale. And I can say about my character, hmm what can I say? I can say that Layla is going to be very angry and destructive. (Laughs.) She’s kind of like that in every episode, but extra destructive. We’ll find out what that means.
Alright, that’s fascinating. I’m excited. So, are there anything else you’ve been working on besides Nashville and the tour? Any big projects coming up?
Well, I have a film coming out in October that we shot last year, we’re doing a few reshoots but it’s coming out it October, it’s call Jem and the Holograms. It’s done by Universal, it’s gonna be really cool. It’s based on the cult cartoon series Jem and the Holograms from the 80s. It’s a modern adaptation of that and it’s a really special project. It’s also a musical film, there’s a lot of music involved, so it has that element as well. So that’s what I have coming up right now.
It’s seems like with everything you do there’ the combination of the film and the music. Is it very important to you to keep those elements together?
Well, you know, I certainly wouldn’t say that I’m looking for that in every project, for the character I portray to be willing to sing. It just sort of has happened that way, because it is such an important part of my life and to go up for a lot of roles, like “oh this girl’s a singer.” So I always go out for those roles, it’s really cool being afforded these opportunities where I get to do both. It’s super cool, I love being able to do both in one, but certainly I want to play many characters, not all who will be able to sing. I guess we’ll just see how it goes from here!
Nashville airs on ABC on Wednesday at 10/9c.
Nashville in Concert will be at Boston’s Wang Theatre on May 2. Tickets are on sale now.