Many child actors are so busy twinkling for the camera that only viewers who consider all kids inherently adorable can stomach watching them.
Then there are the Stella sisters: natural on camera and easy in each other’s presence. If you haven’t been watching ABC’s “Nashville” Wednesdays, you’re missing a terrifically written and acted drama with multidimensional characters and great music.
And you’re missing the quiet showstopping performances the girls regularly turn in. There’s a purity to their voices, which blend seamlessly. The sisters, Lennon (named after John), 14, and Maisy, 10, have always sung together.
This season, Lennon’s character, Maddie, has had more drama. In the episode that airs at 10 tonight on Channel 4, she posts a video identifying herself as Maddie Claybourne, putting it out there that Deacon (Charles Esten) is her dad.
Her action leaves her mom, Rayna (Connie Britton), and others upset. With their roles expanding, the Stella sisters talk to Zap2it with their mom, Marylynne, close by. What follows is an edited version of the conversation.
Question: It looks as if “Nashville” is your first acting job. How did this come about, and have you had training?
Lennon: At the end of the first season, we got an acting coach, our first acting coach. Other than that, we have just been learning.
Maisy: Our mom helps us a lot, and when we are not in a lesson, our mom is going over lines and being really helpful.
Q: Did you always want to act?
Lennon: Maisy has. Since she was a baby, she would do the Maisy cooking show, the Maisy talk show, the Maisy news show.
Maisy: I am very, very shy. I would make like this is Food Network and this is bread, and this is peanut butter, and here’s how you do a peanut butter sandwich.
Lennon: Any camera she had, she would pose for it. It was always in my mind it was kind of her thing, and I knew it was something she wanted to do, and I just eliminated it from my mind. I decided I would play music. I always thought we would do music together, and that’s what I thought we would go for. And when the show came up, the show seemed like the best opportunity.
Marylynne: Maisy auditioned for the show, and they loved her and asked her, “Do you have a sister?”
Q: How has life changed since being on the show?
Lennon: It’s crazy, crazy different. Now people know us. We have done the same music and the same harmonies, and now people have heard it. Just the thought of someone in a completely different country or across the world knowing your name and hearing you sing is a wild, wild thing.
Q: Lennon, Maddie’s going through a lot. What has that been like?
Lennon: The path Maddie is taking is a crazy but very interesting one. She is very different than me. (Posting the video) was very selfish of her, and she did not realize at the time and she was thinking of what she wanted and how it would benefit her in ways and it went out of control and she feels very, very guilty and obviously didn’t understand. She has a heart, and she didn’t want this to happen.
Q: And Maisy, what is it like working with your sister?
Maisy: It is really a neat thing. I would rather work with Lennon than a friend. We are very close, so it is really good. A lot of my friends have older sisters, and they fight a lot, and I can’t imagine if Lennon and me were enemies. It would be really hard.