Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts Almost Landed the Role of Deacon on ‘Nashville’

Before Charles Esten scored the role of Deacon Claybourne on 'Nashville,' Jay DeMarcus tried out for the part as well.

Written by Kelly Brickey
Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts Almost Landed the Role of Deacon on ‘Nashville’
Charles Esten, and Jay DeMarcus; Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images

Imagine a world where Jay DeMarcus from Rascal Flatts played the part of Deacon Claybourne on CMT’s Nashville rather than Charles Esten. Well, that concept almost became reality when DeMarcus auditioned for the role back when the show was on the hunt for the perfect cast.

When he’s not working on music or touring with Rascal Flatts, DeMarcus branches out in the entertainment world by trying his hand at acting here and there. When he heard about the production possibilities of Nashville, DeMarcus read the script to try out for Deacon but wound up losing out to Esten.

“It’s so funny, our little running joke is I read for the role of Deacon and my buddy Chip got it. So I always like telling that he stole my gig. The only things that I could do right now given the opportunity, would be like little guest starring roles on things but I couldn’t be on a series right now. I really just read for Deacon for the experience of it because the more auditions you go on the more comfortable you become with the process. And so it’s just been a neat thing for me to kind of find something new to sink my teeth into,” DeMarcus recently revealed.

In the end, the casting worked out in both of the guys’ favor; Esten commanded the part of Deacon for five seasons strong with a sixth and final run slated for 2018 and DeMarcus continued ruling over the charts with Rascal Flatts by releasing acclaimed albums and singles to fans’ major approval. Plus, they both bonded over the experience and made their friendship that much closer to one another.

At the moment, DeMarcus remains busy with his fellow Rascal Flatts members in promotion of their current single, “Back to Us.”