As Scarlett O’Connor on Nashville, Clare Bowen portrays the quintessential country crooner with a heart of gold, but the reality of the actress and singer’s life may surprise you. The Australian native (yes, that’s right) has come to be known for her character’s folksy duets with costar Sam Palladio (who plays Gunnar Scott) like “When the Right One Comes Along.” Leading in to Wednesday’s finale, Bowen, 24, talks to PEOPLE about her accent, moving to the States, and what’s next for the just-signed Scarlett.
I have a friend who says “When the Right One Comes Along” is going to be her wedding song.
Oh my goodness – I’ve heard a few people say that and it is the most flattering thing!
This role seems tailor-made for you, aside for having to change your accent…
It was my favorite accent. I learned it from the films that my dad brought home from Los Angeles when I was a kid. I would watch The Sounds of the South and copy the way they sounded. When I read the script and I saw Callie [Khouri] and T-Bone [Burnett]’s names on it and that ABC was doing it – it was these three superpowers that have joined forces. I read the character and just asked, “Can I go in for her, please?” To be given Scarlett was the biggest privilege. It is a dream come true.
So you learned from watching movies?
I learn everything by ear. It’s something I’ve been able to do since I was a kid, coincidentally enough. It’s just so much fun. The Southern dialects are so beautiful and musical. They’re like the Irish – they lilt and there’s music right though the dialect. I think it’s inherent to the show. It is very fitting.