our march cover star is more than just country strong.

by nylon

Hayden Panettiere has played the soap star, the cheerleader, and the rising country star. But the Nashville actress is ready for her biggest role of all: growing up. Having successfully made the transition from child to adult star, Panettiere sat down with NYLON's Ashley Baker to talk about what's next--and how she got here, in the first place.

On growing up: "Making the transition from being a child actor to an adult was tough. When I was a kid, it was just instincts, instincts, instincts. It never crossed my mind that acting wouldn't work out. But when I'd grown up enough to start questioning myself, I started worrying and doubting."

On how she relates to her Nashville character, Juliette: "I know what it feels like to be under that kind of pressure and have personal issues be a constant topic of conversation. A lot of Juliette's lashing out is based on her childhood and the damage done there. I think most people can find some sort of pain in their lives."

On one of the hardest lessons she's had to learn: "I've had to learn how to be strong and put things in perspective. I remember being 16 years old and bending over in a camera shop and a guy took a picture of me from behind and said that I had cellulite. It traumatized me. I would look things up [online] and regret it every time, so I had to learn to put things in perspective. But there's always going to be someone who has something negative to say, and that's okay. I try not to take it too much to heart, but it hurts. If I said it didn't bother me, I'd be lying. But I've taught myself how to handle it and move forward."

On dating in Hollywood: "It's almost like signing a contract. There's no such thing as a casual date in this business. But then when you go through a breakup, it's like a divorce. You have to put it out there eventually, because if you're ever seen with another guy, even if he's just a friend, you're immediately cheating."

On learning about her Golden Globe nomination: "I was told to be available for a call at 7:20 a.m. I was in bed, and I put my phone on my chest and I went back to sleep, because they were never going to call. Then it started vibrating, and when I picked it up, all I could hear were screams. I cried, and then I made a grilled cheese. I didn't know what else to do."


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