The marquee of the historic Franklin Theatre read, “Appearing tonight: Layla Grant.” Grant, a recurring character in the ABC drama, “Nashville,” certainly will be performing there, but for acting purposes only.
An episode of the TV series that was shot there Monday will clearly identify downtown Franklin when it airs, including scenes on Main Street, and inside and outside shots of the theater, said Mark Ragland, a location manager for ‘Nashville.’
“It is staged inside the theater just for us,” Ragland said. “Her performance will be very choreographed, not something where someone could come inside and hear her play a song from beginning to end.”
On the show, Layla Grant, played by movie actress Aubrey Peeples, is a rising star and a contender in a reality singing competition.
“In this script, we were asked to look for a small, 500-seat venue, and we scouted a lot of Nashville clubs, but it was the architecture in the theater that attracted us here,” Ragland said. “It’s really a spectacular little theater. We felt we got the most bang for our buck here.”
Passersby on the sidewalk slowed down to peek inside the theater and check out the filming equipment sitting outside. However, the public could not be allowed inside the theater during filming, where about 300 extras made up the audience for Layla Grant’s performance, said “Nashville” transmedia producer Geoffrey Colo.
Ragland said he was glad to be filming in Franklin as Oak Hill previously had been the farthest the crew had filmed “Nashville” episodes last year. But this year, filming already has taken place in Springfield, and now Franklin.
“We like to promote the area,” Ragland said. “We always attract some attention. We are used to that. Most people are pretty excited about it.”
Downtown businesses remained open during the filming, which lasted until 10 p.m. Large semi-trailer trucks hauling the crew’s production equipment blocked Fourth Avenue South.
Article Courtesy of The Tennessean