'Nashville' newcomer Joseph David-Jones talks 'Nashville' and his upcoming Kathryn Bigelow film


When the beloved "Nashville" moved from ABC to CMT, it brought along a fresh new face to join the show for its fifth season: Joseph David-Jones.

For the rising star, who recently starred in "The Divergent Series: Allegiant" opposite Shailene Woodley, his stint on "Nashville" comes during the same year that he's set to star in Kathryn Bigelow's upcoming film with breakout "Star Wars" actor, John Boyega. In other words, 2017 is going to be his year.

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On "Nashville," David-Jones plays Clay, who is Maisy Stella's love interest for the show's fifth season. With his gleaming smile and infectious on-screen presence, the young actor has already brought a fun new energy to the show.

I caught up with Joseph David-Jones recently to talk about what it was like filming "Nashville," working with acclaimed director Kathryn Bigelow and who his dream collaborators would be.

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Check out my full conversation with Joseph David-Jones below:

How does it feel to have people finally able to see your work on "Nashville"?

I'm pretty excited! We shot it a while back. I'm doing songs on the show, and this is really my first time working in that dynamic where I'm pre-recording songs and everything. I haven't been able to see [my first episode] yet, so I'm pretty excited to see what it ends up looking like.

How did the opportunity to play Clay come about?

Interesting story, actually! I was back in L.A. on leave for a couple of weeks from the Kathryn Bigelow movie, and they had been looking for this [an actor to play Clay] for forever. They looked in Nashville and Atlanta and New York and L.A., and they were trying to find a very specific thing for this character, but I was gone filming during the initial auditions. So, when I was back in town, my manager was like, "You know what, why not?! Let's see what happens!" I went in for it, played a couple of songs on the guitar and read some scenes.

I ended up doing that, and then going back to Boston to finish shooting the film, when they contacted me to see if I could read for some producers and see if I could do ["Nashville"]. These people are amazing, because the dates didn't work out at all, but they were so unbelievably accommodating. They ended up rescheduling the entire episode to work with my schedule, and I ended up shooting and learning that entire first episode in, like, four or five days.

Have you always been into singing?

This is my first big musical project. I've always loved singing, but it was always just a hobby. I would learn and play songs on the guitar just for fun while playing around with friends, so it's kind of been a blessing to be able to do both in one project. I'm just hoping that everybody loves the songs, because I know music is a huge part of the show.

What was it like working with Maisy?

Okay, she's so fun -- it's ridiculous! Most of my scenes are with her, because I'm her love interest for this season. She's cool, she's really funny and kind of has an older mentality to her.

Do you have scenes with Connie Britton and some of the other cast members?

Oh, yeah! I don't want to give away the dynamic of our characters' relationship, but yes, I worked with Connie. The guy who plays Deacon [Charles Esten] is absolutely hilarious! It's funny, because I don't feel like they utilize that as much on the show. He's been doing comedy for years and years.

Can you tease anything that we can expect from Clay, other than being Maddie's love interest?

This relationship is definitely going to be trying on Maddie, because Clay has some demons that will come out later in the season, and she's going to have a hard time dealing with it.

Let's talk about this upcoming film with Kathryn Bigelow. Is there even a title yet?

They've been floating around a couple of different titles, so I don't even know what it's going to be called. Right now it's just the "Untitled Kathryn Bigelow Project."

What was it like working with her on such a highly-anticipated film?

Oh, my God! It was unlike anything I've ever shot before. She's amazing, she's brilliant -- I've never worked on a set where everything was so in-tune. We would run through scenes and most of the time the dialogue was changing every day. Everything was kept very secret, but these people were just getting it. They shoot largely on steadicam, so when you're in a scene and in the moment, you don't even know if people are catching it. You don't even see the cameras. Then we would go watch the playback, and they would have this amazing footage. It was crazy.

What about John Boyega? What was your dynamic on set?

He's just a great, stand-up guy. I don't want to give away the dynamic of how it plays out, because it might give away how we interacted with one another, but he's very cool, too. Super humble guy and fun to be around.

As you look forward into the future of your acting career, who are some dream people to work with? What do you see for yourself in the coming years?

I think my problem is that I look so far in advance, and I see where I want to be, but I don't really map out how to get there. A lot of the directors that I love and would love to work with -- Kathryn Bigelow being one of them --- Martin Scorsese, but there are very few black roles in a Scorsese film, Christopher Nolan.

I have this desire to find the middle ground between really good scripted indie films and big, extremely popular studio films. My last film was "Allegiant," which had a huge budget, and going from that into the Kathryn Bigelow project, it was amazing. It was both ends of the spectrum. It's all about trying to get fans, while also having artistic integrity.

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