When we first met Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere) on Nashville, we weren’t so sold on her as a character or as a country star. But as the season has progressed and we’ve gotten to know the tiny blonde firecracker a little better, we’ve certainly fallen under her spell. One of the initial problems with Little J was that she supposedly couldn’t sing despite being able to sell out giant arenas.
Turns out, Hayden had a problem with that too. “That affected me more than I thought,” she tells Assignment X of her character’s supposed lack of talent. “I even talked to [the producers] ‘I need this to be a character that they respect to a certain degree.’ I kind of think of the character of House. I know it seems like a very strange, far-fetched comparison, but he’s such an ass, but you respect him, because he’s so good at what he does.”
As for her rivalry with Connie Britton’s Rayna Jaymes, Hayden says that the daily catfight we see onscreen is only getting easier as the show goes on.
“It’s tough, because I respect her so much, but I feel like the more we get to know each other, the better we are at really sinking our teeth into it, because you don’t really know where to draw the boundaries with people sometimes.”
Before Nashville, Hayden had a bit of her own stint as a singer. “I recorded an album about five years ago, and I was in a period of time where I was changing all the time. I wanted to be a pop star one day, I wanted to be a rock star the other day.” It seems like she’s found a happy medium, singing and acting in cowboy boots and short dresses.
But it seems that even though she loves singing the gorgeous songs on the show, she might get a little more say in the future. “There might be collaboration,” she says of working with music director T-Bone Burnett on some tunes for the show, “but I don’t know if I’m gutsy enough to go there yet. Maybe soon.”
With her fascinating romantic history, we would love to hear a T-Swift-style account of her bumpy love life. How do you rhyme Milo Ventimiglia with Deacon Clayborne?