Brad Paisley, Your Close-Up Is Ready

The best place to catch Brad Paisley is on the CMT Most Wanted Live Tour, but the 29-year-old country star will soon be popping up on television, too.

For example, he recently filmed an episode of his real-life girlfriend Kimberly Williams’ sitcom, According to Jim.

“He basically walks in and plays the piano and says a few things” Paisley tells, about his character, named Eddie. “I play a boyfriend of hers who is a better musician than her brother on the show, and it causes a big problem for the family because Jim fires [the brother] from the band. So that’s not a good thing. It’s actually really funny. The script is really good. I’m actually enjoying that.”

But don’t expect Paisley to attempt a second career in acting, like Reba McEntire or Billy Ray Cyrus .

“I tell you though, some singers get into this and they love it, and they start wanting to act,” Paisley says. “This has almost cured me of that, just because it is so hard. I just don’t like being told what to say and how to look. They also picked out my clothes for me. I definitely look a little different than I would on my own, and it’s fun to do that once, but I don’t need to be all over TV in that sense.”

Paisley also reveals that he’s in the middle of directing a video for his newest hit, “I Wish You’d Stay.” But he’s not saying what happens in the clip.

“This is a little different,” he says. “It’s a story song. It’s ongoing. We decided the video could wait. I think the song does what it does on its own, and the video takes it somewhere else. So, waiting until it’s about halfway through its life hopefully won’t screw up the song to anybody that hasn’t hadn’t heard it.”

Certainly, it will be tough to follow up the most successful video of his career, “I’m Gonna Miss Her (The Fishing Song),” which earned a CMA award nomination for video of the year, as well as a CMT Flameworthy award for concept video.

“‘I’m Gonna Miss Her’ was the kind of song that brings new people to the show,” Paisley says. “People buy tickets and come expecting to have a little more fun than they did in the past, because in the past, mainly my biggest hits were serious ballads. So, a song like that gets a little more rowdy crowd, and people who are a little more willing to have a good time. We’re going to play on that a little bit.”

What does he remember most about making the video, which co-stars Williams, as well as ESPN’s Dan Patrick, Jimmy Dickens and Jerry Springer?

“Getting hit in the back of the head a couple of times,” he says with a laugh. “We did that about eight times to get a convincing one. I think the director, at that point, had had it with me. He probably had the shot at the first take. I would love to know which one they actually used.”

Paisley has some songs written for his third album and expects to enter the studio in October. He also turns 30 on Oct. 28 and realizes that headlining a tour means setting a good example — perhaps even collaborating with the opening acts during his own set.

“When I’ve been on tours before, it definitely comes from the top down — how the whole vibe of things go,” Paisley says. “I’ve been on tours before where it’s very tense and too serious, and everybody’s a little too caught up in certain things. I’d give the George Strait tour as an example of something that is perfectly done. When I was on that festival with him, he made sure that everybody hung out. He had parties after every performance. He had a little get-together in the tent and you’d smoke cigars and have a drink and talk about the night and tell stories. That camaraderie comes through in the show. That is definitely the responsibility of the headliner to sort of set the vibe, and this is a nice opportunity to get to do that.”

CMT Most Wanted Live Concert Tour