Jonathan Jackson has played Avery Barkley on the TV show Nashville for the entire six seasons – four on ABC and two on CMT. As the series prepares to air their final episode, Jackson will miss the time off-screen as much as when the cameras were rolling.
"It's a unique thing in this business, because, most of the time, you're working together for one season, or maybe on a film for three months,"Jackson tells The Boot, "and you can develop some really great friendships, but it is pretty unique to have six years where you're all in the fire together.
"We've seen each other go through so much," he adds. "So many life changes, some of them difficult and some of them very beautiful."
Their close relationships have resulted in plenty of memories made as friends, not just cast members.
"It's really like a family, and I think that comes across not only onscreen but also in the live performances, the genuine love and respect we have for each other," Jackson says. "All sorts of big moments that naturally happen over the course of six years take place. We've all been there and seen this happen in each others' lives. It's a moving thing."
Nashville marked Jackson's first regular TV role, although he had made several guest appearances, as well as starred in movies like Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, Insomnia, and more. But his time on the series placed him alongside veteran actors like Connie Britton, Hayden Panettiere, Charles Esten and more – people he watched day in and day out and tried to emulate.
"I feel like I've learned quite a bit just being in the room with them, and feeling how they approach their work, especially from the music side of things," Jackson notes. "That's been really fun for me."
Jackson doesn't just play a musician on the TV show – he is one in real life as well. The 36-year-old, who has toured with the Nashville cast and appeared on the soundtracks, fronts the alt rock band Enation, with plans to release a new album and hit the road this year.
"At this moment, we can’t give specific details about the music, but we can say we are planning a new release from ENATION in 2018," Jackson shares on his website, adding that they plan on "extensive touring" as well.
The final episode of Nashville airs on July 26 on CMT.
Photo Credit: Getty images/Nicholas Hunt