How Connie Britton Got to Nashville

People always say that there are so many different roads to fame, but I had no idea Connie Britton’s road was through the mall. She talked with Giuliana Rancic on the Emmy Awards red carpet Sunday night (Sept. 22), and said that before she started acting, she did some time in the malls of America.

“I’ve worked at the Gap,” Britton said. “I worked at the Limited. I was appreciative for all those jobs. I probably didn’t do them very well, and I didn’t do them for very long. It’s all about folding. I’m a terrible folder. I couldn’t stay at the Gap for very long.”

(I have to add that I, too, worked at the Limited during that same era, and while the Gap was all about folding, the Limited was all about the up sell. “Did you know that socks are three for $10 today? If you buy one Forenza sweater, you get the next one for half price.”)

Britton, who was nominated for lead actress in a drama series for her role as Nashville‘s Rayna James, said she also spent time as an aerobics instructor — decked out in the head-to-toe Jane Fonda-inspired gear.

“That’s what I did,” she said. “I wore leg warmers. I wore a bandana. Without question, [I] had to soak up the sweat with a bandana. I wore very high-legged leotards, maybe a nice pink leotard with a purple bike short and very thick socks. I was hot.”

Ultimately, she didn’t win the Emmy. Claire Danes took home the award for her role in Homeland, but Britton looked like a winner anyway in a long Naeem Khan dress made of blue velvet and embellished with gold, plus a one-of-a-kind Stuart Weitzman clutch and some very nerve-wracking Cathy Waterman jewelry.

“Let me tell you. I had to insure it,” she said. “Therefore, I had to sign a piece of paper saying how much it was all worth. Let me just say, my jewelry is worth more than I am. I’m very nervous!”