“Who Am I If I’m Not Tami Taylor?”
The decision over what to do with this Connie Britton New York Times article took up a lot of email real estate yesterday afternoon. Do you binge on it or do you wait, savor, only a little bit at a time to draw out the deliciousness of what feels like an actual, real honest profile of the woman everyone wants to be?
That’s not just my interpretation, by the way -- it’s half the premise of the article. That women approach Connie Britton – or wish they could – because something about the way she played Tami Taylor made them think they wanted to be like her “when they grew up” is amazing enough, but then, it’s also not lost on Connie Britton. She says she “feels a responsibility to that character”.
Isn’t this incredible? That five years on one show have translated into being the personification of a woman we all want to be?
The piece wasn’t exactly a puff piece. That is, it was clearly flattering, and clearly the writer also loves Connie Britton – the adoring parts about the hair alone would make you think you were reading Tiger Beat -- but there is honesty here. So much.
Britton is portrayed as slightly moody, a little bit prone to poutiness and being precious (tears backstage after almost falling down –that’s not about physical fear, as much as it is being embarrassed in front of everyone, I think), and not necessarily the easiest person to work with.
This is what kills me. KILLS me. She doesn’t seem the type to tell the NYT not to print something (and, um, the NYT doesn’t seem like the type to listen anyway), but this could have been a lot less insightful than it was if she was the type of subject they had to dance around. They get real about how she doesn’t necessarily love the direction of Rayna’s story on Nashville (no KIDDING), how militant she was about making sure Tami’s story progressed on FNL, and how she DOESN’T DO ACT BREAKS.
This means she flat-out refuses to be in them. This is a phenomenal piece of information to me. It tells so much. For example:
- No wonder Rayna seems like she’s in a different show than all the dastardly people around her.
- I’m pretty sure she would do an “act break” on FNL so this is more or less saying she’s implying Nashville is crap, and…
- She gets away with it. That is power.
Sure, Rayna’s the “star” of the show but it’s really an ensemble cast. They could get rid of her relatively easily if they wanted to. But they don’t, because she makes it worth it with every performance.
Is this because of her face?
Don’t kill me. But even though the article says “She leads with her brains, not her beauty” and even though I absolutely agree with this, she’s still a phenomenal-looking person. It has to matter. The article makes a point of saying that she’s dripping in men and not always ones her own age, either.
Remember what Tina Fey said: “Crazy” is what they call a woman in Hollywood when nobody wants to f*ck her anymore. Does Connie Britton get to have a voice? Does she get to say she thinks story points are weak or that her character deserves more? That she wouldn’t if she weren’t quite so beautiful? Is that kind of unfair, or is it Connie Britton being incredibly smart and using it to her clearly intelligent advantage?
Here’s the thing, though: I’m so glad she didn’t get Jerry Maguire. Part of being tough – part of developing that Tami Taylor steel – comes from years of disappointment. From not making it early enough. From knowing what it is to have a dream deferred, and to have to take a different, less traditional path. The speaking up? That comes from there, too. I mean, it sounds like something Tami would say, doesn’t it? Once you have nothing to lose – or know who you are even if you do lose – then you start to really trust the sound of your own voice.
Click here to read the NYT profile on Connie Britton. (Lainey: If Texas Is Forever, this is personal requirement!)
Attached -- Connie Britton at NY Fashion Week.
Chelsea Lauren / Getty