Hart-of-Dixie-Burt-Reynolds.jpgWhen The CW’s small-town Southern rom-com “Hart of Dixie” closes out its second season Tuesday (May 7), country trio Gloriana is in the house, but that’s not the only very special appearance.

According to the synopsis for the epiosde, called “On the Road Again,” “Lavon (Cress Williams) discovers that the opposing town’s mayor has stolen something dear to him and enlists the help of the townspeople to get it back.”

It’s been a while since anyone saw Burt Reynolds, the pet alligator of BlueBell, Ala., Mayor Lavon Hayes, so it’s possible that the big lizard could be the “something dear” in question.

But however it happens, Burt is back, and Williams gets up and close and personal.

“Burt Reynolds has been in a couple of episodes, but I had yet to work with him,” says Williams during a break in filming for the finale on the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank, Calif. “It’s a her, actually. The actual alligator is a girl, but Burt Reynolds is supposed to be a boy. It was very scary.

Cress-Williams-Hart-of-Dixie.jpg“We had to rescue Burt. We actually had an episode with two alligators, so we had two alligators on set. The alligator’s chained down, so, in your head, you know that you’re safe, but it doesn’t matter. Having to walk towards the alligator is so scary. You cannot train an alligator. It was quite scary.”

Williams also may have rescued an unwitting co-worker.

“At one point,” he says, “our sound guy didn’t see the alligator and sat down really close to it. I was right in front of him, and I just calmly said, ‘I don’t think you want to sit there.’ He looked up and said, ‘Oh!’ And he thanked me. ‘You saved my life!’

“So, it was great. I was happy to finally do a scene with Burt.”

Posted by:Kate O'Hare