‘I look back at it with curiosity more than anything,’ Hayden Panettiere told The Messenger
Hayden Panettiere is getting candid about her past struggles with addiction and whether or not she regrets acting during that difficult time period.
“I look back at it with curiosity more than anything,” she exclusively told The Messenger while chatting about her upcoming three-city tour for her “A Conversation With Hayden Panettiere” speaking engagements. “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?“
With “A Conversation With Hayden Panettiere,” the actress hopes by speaking openly about her past, she can help those who may be on the same path as she was. (It will take place at the Keswick Theatre in Glenside, Pa., on Feb. 22; Sony Hall in New York City on Feb. 23; and the Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 24.)
Panettiere continued, “Because 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. Where would I be today?“
Noting that there were “such great things about my personal life in Nashville” — including playing main character Juliette Barnes on the series that shot in Tennessee — the Heroes alum went on to tell The Messenger that the years she spent filming the country drama “were also very traumatizing because I felt like I was acting out my own life.“
The actress previously detailed using opioids and alcohol as a teenager, which led to dependency into her adult years. Her Nashville character’s storyline mirrored her personal life, including dealing with postpartum depression after her daughter was born.
Comparing the parallels of her character and her own life, Panettiere continued, “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. 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.“
The “Love Like Mine” crooner went on to say that working 12- to 20-hour days on set while her own life played out through her character ultimately took a major toll on her wellbeing.
“I didn’t have time to take care of myself [and] to think about and go through the pain I was experiencing physically [and] emotionally. I just wanted to drum it out and watch mindless television and great shows. Anything to keep my mind off of that because I knew that next day I was going to be back at it again. I was like, tear central. I don’t even think on a soap opera that I cried as much [as I did] on Nashville.“