What's Carl Edwards doing in a Sara Evans video? Well, first let me tell you what he's not doing. He's not playing a NASCAR driver. He's not sitting in his No. 99 car. And he's not just making some little cameo appearance.
Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images
And that's just how he wanted it. Edwards told me what he loved the most about being in Evans' new video for "Slow Me Down" was that she just wanted him to play her soon-to-be ex.
"That was the neatest part for me," Edwards said. "Just to play the part of someone else. It's not exploiting the fact that I'm a racecar driver."
So who is he in the video? A total jerk. That's what his instructions were on the set.
"The basic idea was that we were supposed to be arguing the entire time," he said. "The director would say, 'We're rolling, so you guys just start arguing and be angry with each other.' And so it was like two minutes of me trying to look like a jerk and then the next five minutes of me apologizing. It made for a pretty funny cycle of filming."
Being mean to Evans was a particularly tough assignment for Edwards because he has been a fan of hers for a long time.
"We have that connection because we're both from central Missouri," he said. "I was not a country music fan growing up, but I guess as I've grown up, my tastes have changed. Now I like music where a) I can tell someone's having a lot of fun, or b) I can tell that it really means a lot to them and they're putting a lot of their heart into it. And that was one of the greatest things about 'Slow Me Down.' To see Sara perform that song and see how much she cared about it artistically, that makes a song."
Edwards admitted he was nervous to meet Evans when he got to the Nashville set of the shoot.
"I don't get that way very often," he said. "But everyone in central Missouri, when they talk about Sara, they say she's honest and real. All those things people say about her are true. She's honest and real. And, to me, that's very rare."
Back in 2011, Edwards played himself in Justin Moore's "Bait a Hook" video, so he knows almost everything he needs to about the people who make country music.
"As I go through life, I see that the people who are the most successful are just good, honest people who work hard," he told me. "And country music is full of those folks."
"Slow Me Down" is the lead single from Evans' upcoming album.