How ‘Outer Banks’’ Charles Esten’s Acting Career Influenced ‘Love Ain’t Pretty’
While there certainly is a place for drama in country music, there’s no better place to learn the trials and tribulations of love than behind the camera on a pair of hit TV shows. Charles Esten learned this firsthand through his experience starring on ABC country drama Nashville and, most recently, the Netflix sensation Outer Banks. But one thing Pogues and Cooks alike can agree on is that Esten puts his heart and soul into his music as much as his acting.
Esten is fresh off the release of his independent debut album, Love Ain’t Pretty, produced by Marshall Altman. The album features 14 tracks, all of which he co-wrote, and covers everything from romance to reflection and more.
Esten starred in the television drama Nashville, which premiered in October 2012. The show ran up until July 2018 and gave fans six seasons, 124 episodes, and a soundtrack with lots of great country songs with Music City as the backdrop, drama, and romance.
Nashville, which was nominated for the Critics’ Choice Television Award for Most Exciting New Series in 2012, had an incredible cast with amazing chemistry and talent. It was a show that kept on giving. The cast also included Connie Britton, Hayden Panettiere, Clare Bowen, Chris Carmack, Sam Palladio, and Jonathan Jackson.
Fans of the show still obsess over the cast members and the stories told throughout the series. That led to the “Nashville Reunion Tour” for Esten and his former castmates and friends.
Most recently, Esten starred in the first three seasons of Outer Banks, a show about what happens when a group of determined people vie for an island’s hidden treasure in a race against time and how their wealth bolsters or inhibits their ability to find the treasure quicker. Esten’s character on the show, Cameron Ward, is the evil patriarch of a wealthy family. Netflix has announced the fourth season is coming.
After spending so many years acting as Deacon Claybourne on Nashville, Esten says the country artist he portrayed on that show influenced the final product of his new music.
“Deacon Claybourne is an artist that definitely influenced this album, which is strange to say. Ward Cameron [Outer Banks], I don’t believe had any influence at all –thank God,” Esten joked. “I started to learn along with everybody else, just who this guy was and his truthfulness, his sensitivity, his heart, and all these things.”
Although it’s been quite some time since Nashville ended, Esten is “grateful to the guy,” the character he played because he inspired not only the fans but the artist within Esten too.
As far as musical influences, Esten credited Dierks Bentley and Lee Brice as inspirations. He admits that after attending festivals such as Stagecoach and watching over artists in the wings of the Grand Ole Opry, among other shows, he feels very fortunate to have seen artists such as them both and the impact they have on their audience.