'Nashville'

Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere in a scene from ABC's "Nashville." (Chris Hollo / ABC)

Connie Britton was in the shower, all suds-upped, when she gathered she’d received her fourth Emmy nomination. 

“I had one leg shaved! I kept hearing my phone, and I jumped out of the shower,” Britton said. “Everyone’s been so excited and supportive.”  

Britton was speaking by phone from the “Nashville” set, during her first day of shooting season two. It was an appropriate place to spend her celebratory morning, if just because she feels the award belongs to everyone around her. “I always feel this way with a nomination – everything I ever do is such a collaboration, every nomination I fully share with my cast and crew. I’m over the moon.”

EMMYS 2013: Full coverage | Complete list | Recap | Nominee reactions

Britton’s four consecutive nods from the Academy span three TV shows. She was nominated -- but didn’t win -- last year for “American Horror Story” and the previous two years for “Friday Night Lights.”

Britton isn’t that hopeful she’ll take home the statue this year, either  – but that’s not the point, she says. “I’d be very surprised if this was the year that [I won]. All these actresses are so incredible. I’m just happy to be included -- to show up and go to the party. It’s all about the party!”

About her long-reigning queen of country music on “Nashville,” Rayna James, Britton said part of what resonates with audiences is that the character is both larger than life and relatable.

“There’s something that feels familiar to audiences, because we’re used to seeing big, famous singers and these iconic artists. But then, the audience gets to know her intimately and as a real human being. That’s one of the reasons I wanted to play this role.  As an actor, that’s what I love to do – dig deep.”

EMMYS 2013: Play-at-home ballot

Britton wouldn’t reveal anything, plot-wise, about season two. But she did say the girl power the show is known for will not lose momentum.

“It’s there. But part of playing a strong woman is you have to see the weak side, the dark side,” she said.  “Because you’re only strong if you’re able to be courageous in the face of fear.” 

For Britton, one of the fears she faced shooting "Nashville’s" debut season was taking the stage to sing. 

“All the performing stuff was the most new to me. And it felt the most foreign. But that was also the most exciting. That’s the joy of being an artist – stepping outside your comfort zone.”

ALSO:

FULL COVERAGE: 2013 Primetime Emmys

TIMELINE: Emmy winners through the years

‘Louie,’ ‘Veep,’ ‘Girls’ nominated for comedy series

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