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Hayden Panettiere says Nashville writers ripped storylines from her private life: ‘It was very traumatising’

Actor played a country musician in the hit ABC drama

Louis Chilton
Saturday 27 January 2024 11:40 GMT
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Hayden Panettiere says giving up custody of daughter was 'heartbreaking'

Hayden Panettiere has claimed that the writers of Nashville used to write stories inspired by her private life.

The 34-year-old singer and actor played the character of troubled musician Juliette Barnes on the popular AMC drama series, set in the world of country music.

Panettiere, who is now sober, has spoken openly in the past about her history of addiction and mental illness.

In an interview with The Messenger, she described her time spent Nashville, which ran from 2012 to 2018, as being “very traumatising because I felt like I was acting out my own life”.

Commenting on the parallels between her character’s storylines and her own life, she explained: “Straight from the beginning, it was like, I’m dating a football player, [and then] Juliette dates a football player. And then they turned her into an alcoholic. Then they turned to her leaving her daughter and going to this crazy [place] in Europe, and it was very obvious …

“They weren’t doing their homework. They weren’t creating new storylines. 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 also addressed the toll that the punishing filming schedule had taken on her, with shoots sometimes running for as long as 20 hours.

“I didn’t have time to take care of myself [and] to think about and go through the pain I was experiencing physically [and] emotionally,” she said. “I just wanted to drum it out and watch mindless television and great shows. Anything to keep my mind off of that because I knew that next day I was going to be back at it again.

“I was like, tear central. I don’t even think on a soap opera that I cried as much [as I did] on Nashville.”

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Panettiere on ‘Nashville' (ABC/Lionsgate)

The Independent has contacted ABC and showrunner Callie Khouri for comment.

Last year, Panettiere spoke candidly about experiencing postpartum depression, after giving birth to her daughter, Kaya. At the time, she was also struggling with an addiction to opioids.

In 2018, Panettiere gave up custody of eight-year-old Kaya, who moved to Ukraine to live with her father, former professional boxer Wladimir Klitschko.

Since then, Panettiere and her daughter have remained close, with the actor telling People that Kaya “has a beautiful life”.

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