Chris Carmack Previews Will’s Gay Denial on “Nashville” Season 2

Can a little kiss between two men be the start of a beautiful…bromance?

On ABC’s hit series Nashville, the answer may be yes.

Last season, deeply closeted country singer Will (Chris Carmack) laid one on his straight buddy, Gunnar (Sam Palladio) and while there was tension to follow, it seemed as though they – and their budding friendship – would work itself out.

That said, expect complications in the upcoming second season as Will puts his country music ambitions before accepting his sexual identity.

And what of the mysterious man who showed up in the first season finale, which caused a flash of fear to appear on Will’s chiseled face? Carmack phoned in from Nashville (where the show films) to fill us in on that and what else is coming in the new episodes.

TheBacklot: Where do we pick up with Will and his story?

Chris Carmack: At the end of last season, the cliffhanger with Will was the mysterious man from his past who he catches a glimpse of in the bar. I can tell you that this mysterious man will be present in Will’s future…he’s going to show up and cause Will a little bit of turmoil. On the music front, he’s still striving to be a star. He said last season that nothing’s going to stop him until he makes it, and he keeps good to his word. He’s not to be deterred.

Chris CarmackWill’s desire to be a star is going to overshadow his sexual identity.

TBL: Would you say he’s okay with being gay and doesn’t want to come out because of the business… or does he not want to be gay at all?

CC: I think Will was raised in an environment where he saw a lot of anti-gay rhetoric and I think, as a result, he is not allowing himself to communicate with that part of himself. When he’s feeling those urges, which are his natural innate urges, he pushes them down and shoves them down and punishes himself and will not allow it. So I think he’s in a bit of denial, and he’s in no position to open up about it or find somebody that he can confide in and maybe understand this about himself. Will’s in denial. He’s not accepting of himself.

TBL: Do you think we’re going to get a chance to meet any of Will’s family?

CC: I think Will is trying to keep his past a secret on many levels and the answer is I don’t know because I don’t know where we’re going past the episode we’re filming right now, but Will is running away from his past in many respects. Personally, I suspect his family is a part of that but, again, the work you sometimes do, you read the next episode and go ‘Oops! Wrong about that!’

Will has this deep, dark secret that he’s scared of anyone catching on to and, as a result, a lot of his life is this performance. So he gets to be this bigger than life performing character while covering this deep, dark secret.

chris-carmack-nashvilleCan Will (Chris Carmack, r) and Gunnar (Sam Palladio) get their bromance back on track?

TBL: What can you tell me about this mystery man? Is it a reminder of who he doesn’t want to be?

CC: Well, you know, I’ve got a lot of rationale in my own mind about who this guy is to Will, but you have to bear in mind that we only get the scripts one episode in advance. So sometimes the work that I’ve done personally about the past with these characters turns out to be wrong [laughs], and I have to rework it later and think about it in a different way. So I can give you answers now that aren’t necessarily true. I think the best answer is we don’t know yet. It seems very likely that they have a history of some sort of relationship that was more than just a bro-relationship.

TBL: Last season, Will tried to kiss Gunnar, which did not go well. What’s up with them now?

CC: I think Will and Gunnar have a lot of friendship ahead of them. I think they’ve got a lot of friendship between them coming up. They have their rough patches and their spats, but I think Will and Gunnar are a good duo.

Chris CarmackCarmack revealed that Will is running from his past, including his family.

TBL: Who are you interacting with the most since there are several characters you haven’t had scenes with yet?

CC: I think primarily most of my work has been with Sam, as Gunnar, in the story. But I am starting to bleed into some of the other storylines. I worked with Connie [Britton, who plays Rayna) a little bit and I had a scene where I was standing in the same room as Hayden [Panettiere, who plays Juliette].

TBL: Do we get to see you sing in the first episodes back?

CC: Yeah! I’ve got a few songs coming up. I will say that [the writers have] spent a lot of time on Will in the first few episodes. They really bring him in and establish him as somebody who’s going to be a part of this season. I’ve been working hard.

The second season of Nashville premieres September 25th on ABC.