It’s common knowledge to actors that sometimes, life imitates art. In Hayden Panettiere’s case, art imitated life.
The actress starred as country superstar Juliette Barnes on the ABC (then CMT) drama Nashville from 2012-2018 alongside Connie Britton, Charles Eston, Clare Bowen, Sam Palladio, and Jonathan Jackson.
Her character went through so much in the series from relationship woes, alcoholism, unplanned pregnancy, postpartum depression, and so much more.
Coincidentally – or not – Panettiere was also going through those same things.
In a new interview with The Messenger to promote her upcoming three-city speaking tour, A Conversation with Hayden Panettiere, the actress sat down and spoke about her life and career.
The seven years she played Juliette Barnes were great for her career, she says, but they “were also very traumatizing because I felt like I was acting out my own life.”
While Panettiere was dating former NFL player Scotty McKnight, Barnes dates a football player (and eventually marries him in the series!). The actress previously, and even during filming, battled a drug and alcohol problem, so her character did, too. When she was struggling with postpartum depression, Juliette was as well.
“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,” she stated. “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 went to a facility for her postpartum depression in October 2015, and again in May 2016, and has been open about her battle with drugs, alcohol, and depression.
In Nashville, Panettiere showed off so many different sides of herself, including singing country music. Her character became an Opry member during the show, and even played Patsy Cline in a film.