Emmy-nominated writer, actress and producer Jen Richards (Her Story, Doubt) is set to join the cast of Nashville in the recurring role of Allyson Del Lago, a tough but understanding physical therapist who helps a series regular through one of their most difficult challenges.
This marks CMT’s first transgender character and the first out transgender actor on the network.
Richards is an accomplished writer and actress, as well as a consultant and advocate who works with national organizations and media projects. She is the co-writer/star/producer of the Emmy-nominated series Her Story, co-producer of the upcoming docu-series More Than T and writer of its accompanying Trans 102 series. She is also a 2016 Outfest Screenwriting Fellow for her feature script Any Given Week and will be appearing in several upcoming projects, including CBS’s Doubt.
Her television credits include being series regular on E!’s I Am Cait, Logo’s Beautiful As I Want to Be and AOL’s True Trans With Laura Jane Grace. She has appeared in several videos for BuzzFeed, OWN, and After Ellen. She has published essays on multiple platforms, and wrote the 2015 September/October cover story “What Trans Movement?” for The Advocate.
Prior to her transition, Richards had a successful career in nonprofit and arts management, received her BA in philosophy from Shimer College, studied at Oxford University and in Kyoto, Japan, participated in Outward Bound, was active in theater and published articles, lectured and led workshops on a variety of topics across the country.
She was born in Mississippi, where all her father’s family remains, calls North Carolina home, where her mom, brother and sister-in-law live, and her favorite musical artists include Alison Krauss, Chris Stapleton, the Dixie Chicks, Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, Lucinda Williams, Miranda Lambert, Patsy Cline, Shelby Lynne, Steve Earle and Sugarland.
Nashville makes its triumphant season five debut on CMT with a special two-hour premiere on Thursday, Jan. 5 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.