Charles Esten Suggested They Cast Mark Collie on “Nashville”

Mark Levine

If you’re watching carefully, you may’ve noticed that the man who plays Deacon Claybourne’s sponsor-turned-business-partner on ABC’s Nashville is actually a country hitmaker in real life. Mark Collie made two trips to the top five in the early nineties with “Even the Man in the Moon Is Cryin’” and “Born to Love You.”

Deacon’s alter ego, Charles Esten, confesses he’s always been a fan of Mark’s and was a big proponent of casting the singer and actor as Deacon’s friend from Alcoholics Anonymous, Frankie.

 “When they were talking about who could play that role, I have to admit I sort of said, ‘Have you looked at Mark Collie?’” he recalls.  “He and I happened to be writing… right around that time, so lo and behold, he got on in there and landed that thing all by himself, because he’s everything I thought he would be.”

Now that Mark’s character has evolved from Deacon’s AA sponsor to his business partner in the bar now called The Beverly, Charles says he hopes they’ll be working together for quite awhile.

“With his acting, he’s very, very extremely solid, very real,” he says. “Everything’s just right there. I hope we get to do a whole lot together. We have a ball.” 

You can catch Charles and Mark sharing screen time tonight in the episode called “Unguarded Moments” at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.

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