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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