Connie Britton discusses her reluctant return for the series finale of "Nashville"

Frazer Harrison/Getty ImagesLongtime Nashville fans were pleasantly surprised when, on the show's series finale Thursday night, Connie Britton's Rayna Jaymes returned. While Rayna character died in Season 5, she made a special appearance on the final episode via a flashback scene of Deacon and Rayna's wedding night.

“I’ll admit: When they first called me to do it, I was a little against it,” Connie tells TVLine. “Because I thought, ‘Rayna’s gone. And I don’t like the idea of having her come back as a ghost.'”

Connie says Nashville TV series creator Callie Khouri convinced her otherwise.

“Then she told me about the last moment on the Ryman stage, and I loved the idea of that. So we made it happen,” the actress adds, explaining how she shot both the flashback and the group sing-along over the course of two days.

Charles Esten, who played Rayna's husband, Deacon, says the series finale wouldn't have been the same without Connie. During the flashback scene, Deacon recalls a conversation he had with Rayna on their wedding night where they decided that they must forget how they'd hurt each other in the past.

“It was just… remembering ‘How do you forgive me? How do you go on with it, knowing that it can all fall apart?'” Charles says. “But most of all, it was just my friend Connie again, and I think you’ll agree that that stage wouldn’t have been the same — especially the 'gang’s all here' [number] — without Connie.”

Nashville premiered in October 2012 on ABC; CMT picked up the series in 2016.

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