When Connie Britton made a touching return to Nashville in the very last minutes of the  series' finale on Thursday night (July 26), appearing to Charles Esten in a flashback as his character Deacon Claybourne is preparing to take the stage at the Ryman Auditorium, fans were wildly moved by the plot twist that ultimately reunited the entire cast.

However successful this proved to be with viewers, Britton herself had some hesitations. The actress admits that she had to be talked into doing it: Her character, Rayna Jaymes, was killed off in a car accident during Season 5, and Britton wasn't totally keen on playing a spirit.

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

Series creator Callie Khouri was able to get Britton to come around, after discussing various ways Rayna's character could be included in the finale. The very final scene featured the entire cast, past and present, reuniting for a live performance of "A Life That's Good," and that angle convinced Britton.

"[Khouri] told me about the last moment on the Ryman stage, and I loved the idea of that," Britton says. "So we made it happen."

After a bit of scheduling trickery to work around Britton's time constraints (she's currently in production for the upcoming series Dirty John), she shot her scenes in two days, and everyone involved was thrilled with the results.

"I think you’ll agree that that stage wouldn’t have been the same — especially the gang’s all here [number] — without Connie," notes Esten.

Britton played Jaymes on Nashville's first four seasons on ABC. The character was a fading country superstar trying to stage a comeback while raising her kids, and also juggling a complicated love life and starting her own record label.

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