Actress Connie Britton first captured our hearts in 2006 on Texas sports drama Friday Night Lights as Tami Taylor, a compassionate guidance counselor and wife of Dillon Panthers high school football couch. Next, she scared us all in season one of Ryan Murphy’s cult show American Horror Story and then showcased her vocal chops on Nashville as Queen of Country Rayna Jaymes alongside Hayden Panettiere. She subsequently went onto star in two more Ryan Murphy backed projects, 2015’s American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson and this year’s 9-1-1.
Starting on November 25, Britton will star in the much anticipated true crime podcast turned Bravo limited series Dirty John as Debra Newell, a successful woman looking to fall in love online and ends up in quite the situation. To promote her new eerie role, Britton candidly answered “The Big Questions” for Glamour’s November issue below.
What’s your full name, and where does it come from?
Constance Elaine Womack. My mother had a really dear friend named Connie, who passed away of cancer right before my twin sister and I were born, so I was named after her.
What’s your most irrational fear?
Failing. But one thing I’ve learned is that even if you do fail, you grow so much from that experience that it isn’t really failure.
What’s your idea of true happiness?
That’s such a funny one because there’s the macro version which is you know the world being at peace and all people communicating and relating to each other in a productive way. And then there’s the more immediate tangible one which is being with my dearest, closest friends and family and great conversation and time to spend together and good food and laughter.
On the other hand, what is your idea of hell on Earth?
People being oppressed and being in a situation where people have no power and have no voice.
What’s the greatest invention of all time?
And the worst?
If you could be anyone, real or fictional, who would it be?
I would be interested in like what it would be like to be Mother Theresa because she seemed to be able to have such a completely generous life in a way where it felt completely authentic and her selflessness didn’t seem to take a toll on her. I would be fascinated to get into her skin and know exactly how her heart and her brain work.
When the zombie apocalypse comes what skill will you contribute to the new society?
I’m doing Dirty John right now and there’s a character in our show that is basically obsessed with the zombie apocalypse so it’s put the zombie apocalypse in a whole new light for me. I’d be a really good lead hugger. I’d be really good at giving hugs and that would remind people like, “Hey take it down a notch. You don’t need to be so aggro. Let’s all connect with each other as we’re rebuilding society.”
What’s something you wish you’d written?
Thelma & Louise, but I got to do the second-best thing and work with the film’s writer, Callie Khouri[on Nashville].
You’re stuck on a desert island and can bring only three things. What are they?
I’d want to have a man there, a knife, and a memoir called To Shake the Sleeping Self that my friend Jedidiah Jenkins wrote. I can give him a shameless plug. He’s the most beautiful writer. It’s an incredible book about his travels. He took a bike journey for a year and in the course of doing that he really learned a lot about himself.
Would you rather be able to stop time or speed it up?
Definitely stop time. I don’t even know what the speeding of time means. It just causes me immediate stress to think about it! As far as I’m concerned the idea of stopping time sounds fantastic. You can stop at a particular moment and hang out there for awhile? Great news.
If you could phone a friend right now, who would it be?
My phone a friend is really always my friend Carla. We’ve been friends for a very long time. She always has amazing insight. She’s one of those friends that I feel like she can see me so clearly even when I can’t see myself. And so she can always give me really wonderful insight when I need it and can’t find it.
What chapter of your own life would be most fascinating to read?
This one! I know more now than I ever have.
This story appeared in Glamour’s November issue.