Hayden Panettiere Admits Being on ‘Nashville’ Was ‘Very Traumatizing’ Because She Was ‘Acting Out’ Her Life

The actress recalled playing a troubled role in 'Nashville,' and reflected on how it affected her in real life.

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Hayden Panettiere, 34, isn’t sure how to feel about playing troubled country singer Juliette Barnes in ABC/CMT series Nashville between 2012 and 2018. And in a new interview, she even admitted that the role “traumatized” her because of similarities to her own life, and wondered what she may have missed out on while working on the show. “I look back at it with curiosity more than anything,” the Scream 4 actress told the Messenger in an interview published January 25. “If I hadn’t had done that — if I hadn’t accepted Nashville and had all that time to be involved with other projects — then where would I be now?”

The Heroes actress continued, speculating on where she might be were it not for the role. “It took six years of my career when I was at my physical prime, my mental, my everything, that I just wonder what it would have been like in the hiatuses, [if I] did one project or film, or was encouraged to do that,” she wondered. “Where would I be today?”

Hayden Panettiere
Hayden in ‘Nashville’ in 2012. (Walk Chew Gum/Kobal/Shutterstock)

Even worse, some of it hit home a little too hard. While she admitted there were “such great things about my personal life in Nashville,” referring to her time shooting in Tennessee, she also confessed those years “were also very traumatizing because I felt like I was acting out my own life.”

 Hayden flatly accused the show’s writers of lifting its storylines straight from her life. “Straight from the beginning, it was like, I’m dating a football player, [and then] Juliette dates a football player,” she continued. “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.”

Hayden, who has been open about her own struggles with addiction, has a daughter, Kaya, 9, who currently lives in the Ukraine with her father — Hayden’s ex-husband, Wladimir Klitschko.