Hayden Panettiere Says ‘Nashville’ Story Lines Mirrored Her Life

January 26, 2024 - Music

Hayden Panettiere Says Nashville Story Lines Mirrored Her Own Life 183

Hayden Panettiere.
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Hayden Panettiere is opening up about how her character arc on the CMT series Nashville mirrored her own personal life.

“Straight from the beginning it was like, I’m dating a football player, [and then my character] Juliette dates a football player,” Panettiere, 34, who dated NFL star Scotty McKnight from 2011 to 2012, said during a Thursday, January 25, interview with The Messenger.

She continued: “And then they turned her into an alcoholic. Then, they turned to her leaving her daughter … and it was very obvious … they weren’t doing their homework. They weren’t creating new story lines. They were just looking at my life and going, ‘Oh, let’s just take what she’s going through and put our little spin on it.’ And then, ta-da! It’s done and done.”

Panettiere, who played country pop singer Juliette Barnes on Nashville from 2012 to 2018, has been candid about her past struggles with opioid and alcohol addiction. In 2018, her daughter, Kaya, went to live in Ukraine with her dad, Panettiere’s ex Wladimir Klitschko, while the actress worked on her sobriety.

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The similarities between Panettiere’s personal life and the plot of Nashville was “very traumatizing,” she said. “I felt like I was acting out my own life.”

Hayden Panettiere Says Nashville Story Lines Mirrored Her Own Life 182

The Scream VI star also recalled feeling “very, very alone” while filming the show on location in the titular city.

“My family didn’t visit a whole lot. And the team of people that I was working with at the time were not the best influence on me. And these people — some had represented me since I was 13 years old — were the kind [that] when they said, ‘Jump!,’ I jumped,” Panettiere said. “If they said, ‘Wear this,’ I wore that. [It] was [to] the point where I never trusted my own opinion. That’s how it led me to make a lot of errors.”

After Nashville ended, Panettiere realized some of the people in her corner didn’t have the purest intentions.

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“People aren’t trying to protect me. They’re trying to protect themselves,” she explained. “It’s material people that I have been trained almost my entire life to trust and listen to and take advice from. It was a terrifying thing to do to finally make that switch.”

Despite the ups and downs she’s endured in the public eye, Panettiere persevered and got sober in 2021. During a September 2022 appearance on Red Table Talk, she opened up about feeling “horribly guilty” when her daughter first went to live overseas with Klitschko, 47.

“I knew that the most unselfish thing I could do was to make that hard decision and just try to work on myself,” she said. “It was the most heartbreaking thing I’ve ever, ever had to do in my life.”

Nowadays, coparenting with Klitschko is still “really hard with the time changes,” Panettiere told The Messenger. However, she and her ex are in a good place.

“[Kaya] is me. Vlad laughs, and I think it makes Vlad really happy to have a little me there. There is so much love and respect between us,” Panettiere said. “He has a helicopter and is trying to fly helicopters so while he has her in the back, he will send me videos of her passed out listening to the Nashville soundtrack.”

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