Will Chase arrives in "Nashville" via Broadway

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Sandy Kenyon talks to the star of the ABC drama. (WABC)

From Broadway, to starring on ABC's hit series "Nashville", Will Chase is talking with us about his life, and his switch to prime-time TV.

Chase's list of stage credits is impressive.

His first work came in "Miss Saigon", and his credits include other iconic musicals like "Rent" and big hits like "Billy Elliot".

But his role in "Nashville" may not be as much of a stretch as that resume might suggest.

The way Will Chase got to "Nashville" was via Broadway. The same guy who is so believable as country superstar Luke Wheeler on the ABC series was part of the original cast of "Rent".

"I played the squeegee man and I remember my first night on stage. It was January the 30th 1998, and I remember that moment when that music kicked in, and 'Omigosh, I don't know if I can handle this moment.' I did," said Chase.

Chase hails from rural Kentucky but grew up listening to blue grass and studying classical music.

"I got a degree in percussion and conducting. I was aspiring to be this famous conductor. I was pretentiously going to be called F. William Chase," he said.

His decades long detour through Broadway meant that never happened for Franklin William Chase, but everything helped him get ready for this.

"This really is like the culmination of my musical background, my acting and this Kentucky thing," he said.

Unlike others in the cast of "Nashville", Chase doesn't write songs.

Chip Esten, who plays "Deacon", is in a love triangle with characters played by Chase and Connie Britton but he also pens original tunes for albums like the show's Christmas CD out next month.

"But, I don't have that chip so I'm going to let things go as they are, and it seems to be going pretty well!," Chase said.

Back home folks get a big kick out of a role he says just 'came outta nowhere' for a local buy who never expected to draw on his roots so directly.

"And Kentucky people, they're just right behind me a hundred percent," said Chase.





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