Now that Nicole Kidman has birthed her baby right here on Nashville soil, national press are giving this big city with a small-town vibe a little closer scrutiny. Turns out all the reasons some folks might leave Nashville for bigger cities—largely those landlocked, second-tier city blues—are the reasons celebs love to come here. Apparently, Nashville gives them something approximating a normal, papparazi-free life. Durrrrrrrrrrr. My question is this: Exactly how many babies born of celebrity loins must drop on Nashville turf before national press realizes that, just like plenty other cities, Nashville has always had pockets of cool? I know it makes for better copy to pretend otherwise, but sheesh—it's been nearly 40 years since Altman's film, not to mention the fact that what makes it cool has nothing to do with celebs finding refuge here.
From an AP story (dig the what-has-the-world-come-to-if-Nashville-is-cool jab):
It's ironic that Nashville, the city that Robert Altman poked fun at with his '70s film "Nashville" and that spawned the cornpone TV series "Hee Haw," is being celebrated as laid-back and hip—but perhaps that's what it's come to.
Miley Cyrus, who grew up here, is also filming a movie here. Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Ashley Judd—and, during her brief relationship with Kenny Chesney, Rene Zellweger—either lived here, worked here or spent considerable time here. Ditto for tabloid queen Jessica Simpson and TV's "Dancing with the Stars" champ Julianne Hough. Rock stars Sheryl Crow, Jack White and Kid Rock all own homes here.
"I definitely think it's easier to live as a celebrity in Nashville," said Maureen O'Connor, a publicist with Los Angeles-based Rogers & Cowan. "LA isn't as bad as London, but we do have a lot of paparazzi-type photographers and online media who can torment celebrities to the point that making a law against it has been proposed many times.
Then again, maybe Altman's Nashville is all anyone knows about anyway.