CMT

Who Plays Zach Welles On 'Nashville'? Cameron Scoggins Is Nailing It

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Nashville has a new potential villain/hero character for its resurrected Season 5 on CMT in the form of Zach Welles. He's the Silicon Valley tech billionaire who coaxes Rayna Jaymes into performing for his company in the Bay Area — needless to say, not country music's natural fanbase — just because he happens to be a huge fan. He also somehow procures her phone number out of the blue and offers to team up with a floundering Highway 65 for a mysterious new project just for the excuse to work with her again. So who plays Zach Welles on Nashville? Cameron Scoggins is just hitting his stride.

In addition to a multi-episode guest arc this season on Nashville, he also recently landed a major role as Ray Liotta's character's son on the Jennifer Lopez-helmed NBC cop drama Shades of Blue. He's previously appeared on The Blacklist, Person of Interest, Elementary, and The Good Wife. In 2015, Scoggins enjoyed an extended run in the Off-Broadway premiere of Taylor Mac's Hir, in which he played an Afghanistan war vet, returning to his dysfunctional family, which includes a newly out transgender sibling, a stroke-afflicted father, and an abusive mother. (Ironically, the play was a comedy.)

He's only been landing TV gigs since about 2012, and he has a decent collection of one-off appearances under his belt. So his potential storyline on Nashville could be a huge break. According to his Twitter bio, Scoggins is also a self-described "music enthusiast" and "sometimes songwriter," so it's possible that Zach's contribution to a collaboration with Rayna may not be strictly tech-based.

Whether Scoggins' character turns out to be a force for good or evil on Nashville remains to be seen. Zach Welles has a ton of money, an abiding adoration of Rayna Jaymes, and a lot of power. Rayna, conversely, has a flailing record label and a stalker on her hands. It still isn't clear from the first couple of episodes just whom her stalker might be, but Zach is definitely still in the running. He still has the vibe of an awkward, nerdy loner beneath his innovative, successful tech bro facade. We also learn from the season premiere that he spent his whole childhood taking care of his disabled mother, which probably didn't make for well-developed social skills.

Rayna's stalker at one point sends her flowers with a card that reads "for the only woman I have ever loved," followed by a multi-page manifesto/love letter in an envelope filled with rose petals. These might just be the inappropriate overtures of an obsessive fan, but it feels like something much more sinister is going to go down before the season is out. We'll just have to wait and see if Zach is a part of it.